The FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office is offering a reward of up to $20,000 for information related to the kidnapping of 63-year-old U.S. citizen Maria del Carmen Lopez.
Lopez, a dual citizen of the United States and Mexico, was abducted from her residence in Pueblo Nuevo in the Mexican state of Colima on Feb. 9 by several hooded men.
The mother of seven and her husband have been living in Mexico for the last 10 years after raising their family in the Los Angeles area. Maria’s husband was in Los Angeles for a doctor’s appointment at the time of his wife’s abduction.
“We don’t believe it’s drug related, and we don’t believe she was involved in criminal activity,” said FBI spokesperson Laura Eimiller. “We do believe she was the innocent victim of a kidnapping.”
Lopez’s kidnapping comes in the wake of several other American citizens being abducted, including four Americans being violently kidnapped in the Mexican border city of Matamoros earlier this month, and three women disappearing after leaving Texas for the city of Montemorelos in the northern Mexico.
The four Americans, two of whom were later murdered, were traveling to Mexico for a surgical procedure, while the three women were on their way to sell clothes at a flea market.
Each brazen abduction took place in parts of Mexico deemed unsafe by the State Department, who has designated six Mexican states as ones not to travel to due to crime and kidnapping.
Maria del Carmen Lopez is 5 feet, 2 inches tall and weighs approximately 160 pounds. She has blonde hair, brown eyes and has permanently tattooed eyeliner.
Anyone with information about Lopez’s location is urged to contact their local FBI office or the nearest American Embassy or Consulate. The Los Angeles FBI office can be reached at 310-477-6565. Tips may also be submitted online at www.tips.fbi.gov