Sofia Juarez went missing in 2003 when she was a young child. For years authorities couldn’t find her. But years later TikToker Aka y Alla may have helped solve the case.
Aka y Alla interviewed a 22-year-old girl claiming she was kidnapped at a young age. Though the girl didn’t confirm her name in the video, views quickly connected the dots, linking to an 18-year-old case from 2003, when 4-year-old Sofia Juarez disappeared.
The viral TikTok was an interview with the 22-year-old woman in Culiacán, Mexico, who said she didn’t like birthdays. “The truth is, I don’t like having birthdays,” she explained to the interviewer in Spanish. The TikTok was filmed in March by a social media personality in Mexico.
It didn’t take long for the girl to reveal a bigger secret, telling the interviewer that she wanted her family to come for her. “I want to tell them to come for me because I’m here, kidnapped,” though she didn’t explain who she was or where they could find her.
The TikTok video may have just solved a cold case from 2003, because the viral content made rounds on the social media app, with some views connecting the girl to a still-missing Sofia Juarez. Concerned viewers then reached out to Kennewick Police Department in Washington State, believing the girl from Culiacán to be a grown-up Juarez.
The case, at the time, was Washington State’s first Amber Alert. Juarez was reportedly walking home late at night on February 4, 2003, when a young Hispanic boy between the ages of 11 and 14 approached her. Witnesses described the scene to police a few days later, but investigators kept the description a secret until now, trying not to alert the suspect that they were onto him.
Now, it’s no secret, and the police want the boy to know they are still after him. “We want this person to know that we’re still looking for him,” said Lieutenant Aaron Clem.
The girl was allegedly coerced into nearing a light blue or silver/gray van with full-sized panels and no windows on South Washington Street near East 15th Avenue. The suspect, who was described as 5 feet tall with dark, with short wavy hairs, big hands, and a babyface, was reportedly laughing at Juarez as the little girl cried.
“It is our belief the van and the juvenile male may be associated with one another,” said Special Investigator Al Wehner. The case was never dropped, though few answers have surfaced since the dreadful 2003 night. Now, police are reinvigorated, believing that the viral video could lead to possible answers.
“We need to try to pursue it to its reasonable conclusion to find out whether that’s Sofia or not,” Wehner explained, saying that investigators are attempting to make contact with the woman in the view. They want to do a DNA test on the woman from the video.
“It’s much more difficult because she’s in Mexico,” Clem explained, but investigators are do all they can to locate the woman. The creator of the viral TikTok, Aka y Alla, is cooperating with the investigation.
Sofia Juarez’s family is not convinced that the girl in the video is their “Sofia.” Police were also notified that by a family member of the woman in the TikTok video that the woman is not Sofia Juarez, and was sent to a rehabilitation center since the TikTok went viral in April. Police, however, will not stop until they get a DNA sample to prove it.
“Somebody out there knows something,” Wehner said, requesting any information the public has to offer. “Allegiances once owed to people have changed over the years. Now is the time to step forward.”