The daughter of a woman who was kidnapped in Mexico in February is pleading for help from President Joe Biden and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
Maria del Carmen Lopez, 63, was kidnapped from her residence in Pueblo Nuevo, Colima on Feb. 9, the FBI said in a March news release.
The mother of seven and grandmother of 19 is a dual citizen who has ties to Los Angeles and Riverside counties. She often returns to Southern California for doctor appointments and to visit her family.
She moved down to Mexico around 10 years ago after having settled in Maywood to raise a family.
Her family and the FBI believes she may have been targeted.
Her daughter, Zonia Lopez, said in a news conference Wednesday that there has been a “disconnect” between the Mexican and U.S. agencies investigating the case in terms of keeping her family updated on developments.
She asked for both presidents to take an “active role” in the investigation.
“I implore you to hear my words, to feel my anguish,” Zonia Lopez said. “My family has endured unimaginable pain and suffering, desperately clinging for hope as the days turn into weeks and the weeks into months without any sign of my mother’s safe return.”
She detailed that more than 100 days have passed since her mother was taken by men in a white van.
“Work together to prioritize the rescue and safe return of mother. Use all resources, both human and technological to bring an end to this nightmare that has haunted my family for far too long,” she pleaded, her voice breaking. “I beg you, do not let my mother’s voice fade into darkness. Do not let this be another unsolved kidnapping. Bring her home.”
Though details from the FBI have been scarce, Zonia Lopez said her family listened to an audio recording of her mother giving them proof of life.
In it, Maria del Carmen Lopez is pleading for her life, her daughter said.
Her family believes she is still alive and is being held for ransom by a “fringe Mexican kidnapping organization,” a steep fee they are unable to pay.
She described her mother as an amazing cook and a social butterfly with an infectious laugh.
“In her we find strength, love and boundless compassion, she possesses beauty that transcends the superficial, radiating from the depths of her soul and touching everyone fortunate enough to cross her path,” Zonia Lopez continued. ”Our world is falling apart without her light.”
A $20,000 reward is being offered for information about Maria del Carmen Lopez.
She is 5 feet 2 inches tall, weighs around 160 pounds, has blonde hair and brown eyes and has eyeliner permanently tattooed.
Anyone with information about Lopez’s location is asked 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, and tips can be submitted at tips.fbi.gov.
A website has also been set up for people to submit tips and sign an online petition.