Family and FBI seek information after US citizen is kidnapped from home in Mexico

The FBI has offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to her location.

Mar 18, 2023 12:38 pm ET

• 6 minutes reading time

A California family is desperate for news after their mother was abducted outside their home in Mexico more than five weeks ago and has not been seen or heard from since.

Maria del Carmen Lopez, 63, an American-Mexican dual citizen, was kidnapped Feb. 9 in Pueblo Nuevo, Colima state, according to the FBI, which is conducting a joint investigation with law enforcement in Mexico.

Maria del Carmen Lopez’s family speak to ABC station KABC.KABC in Los Angeles

Her family told ABC station KABC in Los Angeles that witnesses described seeing a white pickup truck pull into their property.

“There was an exchange of words,” her daughter Zonia Lopez said in an emotional interview with KABC this week. “She refused to get into the van.”

Zonia Lopez, daughter of Maria del Carmen Lopez, speaks to ABC network KABC.KABC in Los Angeles

Another person reportedly got out of the vehicle and helped pull the mother-of-seven into the van, and then they drove away, according to her family. The woman’s family has not been able to reach her since then.

“We all started calling her to see if she picked up her phone or answered a text and we haven’t heard from her,” Zonia Lopez told KABC.

“At this point we need answers, we need to find my mother,” she told the broadcaster.

Maria Del Carmen Lopez is featured in this poster released by the FBI.FBI

The FBI’s Los Angeles field office announced this week that it is offering a reward of up to $20,000 for information leading to her location.

The State Department advises US citizens against traveling to Colima state because of “widespread” violent crime and kidnapping.

The Lopez family – who have reportedly been informed by investigators that their mother’s case could be part of an organized kidnapping – are not losing hope.

“We know how strong she is and that she thinks fully of the seven of us, and if we bring that energy to her and keep those thoughts going, we know we’re going to have our mom,” Zonia Lopez told KABC.

Maria Del Carmen Lopez is shown in this image released by the FBI.FBI

Maria del Carmen Lopez is described as a Hispanic woman with blonde hair and brown eyes who is 5ft 2in tall and weighs approximately 160 pounds.

Anyone with information as to their physical whereabouts should contact the local FBI office or nearest American embassy or consulate.


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