A TikTok Video Is New Evidence in a Nearly Two-Decade-Old Kidnapping Case

A TikTok Video Is New Evidence in a Nearly Two-Decade-Old Kidnapping Case
Screenshot: Tri-City Herald on YouTube, Other

A viral TikTok video has revived the search for Sofia Juárez, a woman who was kidnapped in 2003, just before turning five. According to a police page about the case, Juárez was taken near her home in Kennewick, Washington, where she lived with her mother, grandmother, and aunts and uncles. CNN has reported that Juárez’s mother passed away in 2009.

In the video, posted on April 15th and taken in Culiacán, Sinaloa in Mexico, she tells a man-on-the-street TikTok interviewer that she’s 22 years old, was kidnapped, and doesn’t know where she’s from. 

“Ageing bothers me,” she tells the interviewer, in Spanish. “I want to say hi to my tata (grandma) and my nana (mum). [Laughs]. If they are watching this show, I want them to come and get me because I have been kidnapped.”

“Er, what?” the interviewer asks. “I have not kidnapped you.”

“Well some people say I’m kidnapped, some others say I’m in Italy,” she adds. “Others that I’m in Japan. Please someone come and get me because I don’t know if I’m from here or from there.

Photo: Kennewick Police Department Photo: Kennewick Police Department

Evidently, the TikToker didn’t take down her contact information. (Gizmodo has reached out to both the Kennewick police and the TikTok personality.)

It’s unclear how Washington state investigators connected the video to Juárez, but she bears a strong resemblance to the child, and the video has over 166,000 views. They hope to perform a DNA test. Kennewick police have provided age-progression photographs:

Kennewick Police Special Investigator Al Wehner told CNN that they’ve received fishy calls from unidentified people claiming to be Juárez’s family, asking that they stop circulating the video. They say that they’re in touch with close family members.