TikTok video sparks new tips in disappearance of 4-year-old Sofia Juarez nearly 20 years later
A video posted on TikTok has sparked new leads in the disappearance of a 4-year-old girl from Washington state, who vanished just days before her fifth birthday nearly 20 years ago.
Sofia Juarez, who would be 23 now, was last seen alive walking home the night of Feb. 4, 2003. Some social media users however, are certain the missing girl has reemerged in a clip recently shared online.
The now-viral TikTok video, filmed in Culican Sinaloa, Mexico, back in March, features a Spanish-speaking woman, who is the same approximate age and resembles what Juarez could look like now. She tells the interviewer that she is 22 and that she hates birthdays. The woman adds that she was kidnapped and is trying to connect with a family she has never met.
She also requested that if anyone recognized her to reach out, as she does not know where she is from.
“We are aware of the TikTok video,” the Kennewick, Wash., police said on a webpage dedicated to the case. “Investigation is being conducted into that. Thank you to those who sent information on that video to us. It is appreciated.”
In the weeks since the clip first appeared on the video-sharing platform, authorities said they have received nearly 100 tips about the missing child. The investigation has so far turned up a “highly credible witness,” who claimed they saw a crying girl being led away by another person around the same time Sofia disappeared.
The same witness brought investigators another tip about a windowless, gray or light blue van that was parked near where Sofia went missing the same night of her kidnapping, police said.
The van is described as being from the 1970s or 1980s.
Kennewick Police Special Investigator Al Wehner told CNN that investigators have been in touch with the personality who interviewed the woman in the TikTok video. He has been helping them try to relocate the woman in Culican.
“There’s some very obvious similarities,” Wehner said about the the missing girl and the woman featured in the video.
Ultimately, Wehner said, investigators would like to get the TikTok woman to submit to a DNA test so they are able to compare it Juarez’s DNA on file.