American woman reported kidnapped in Mexico

Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 9:48 AM CDT
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LOS ANGELES (KCAL/KCBS) - The family of a woman kidnapped in Mexico says she may have been targeted.

It comes as the FBI offers $20,000 for information leading to the return of Maria del Carmen Lopez, an American who had been living in Mexico for the past nine years.

“There was never any sort of threats. There was never any enemies, anything that would indicate that she was in any kind of trouble,” said Zonia Lopez, daughter of the missing woman.

Zonia Lopez and her brother Tony said they are puzzled as to how and why their mother went missing.

Maria del Carmen Lopez, 63, is an American and has been living in Pueblo Nuevo in Colima, Mexico, for the last nine years. The small town is 120 miles south of Guadalajara.

FBI investigators said they believe the mother of seven was kidnapped on Feb. 9 from her home.

“Someone did see there was a car that drove into the property, and there was an exchange of words. They did hear her say that she would not get into the car.” Zonia Lopez said.

Lopez’s daughter said that witness was a cousin who reportedly saw four to five strange men near her home at the time of her disappearance.

“And two individuals picked her up, and another one came out of the van. And they had their heads covered, and they covered her mouth. And that’s when they took her,” Zonia Lopez said.

Maria del Carmen Lopez is retired and loves to cook and garden. Her family said she has no ties to gangs or any criminal activity.

They said they believe she may have been targeted in a crime of opportunity.

“I don’t think it was isolated. I mean, to end up at a town that’s far so remote from the city, you really had to, kind of had to be indicated go there,” Zonia Lopez said.

“And we’re doing everything we can still. We’re not going to give up. We’re not going to give up on my mom. We’re going to find her one way or another,” Tony Lopez said.

The FBI’s L.A. Field Office is now offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to the woman’s whereabouts.

A spokesperson could not comment on the specifics of a case but said so far, no arrests have been made and that they’re hoping someone with information will come forward.

The woman’s family said they are devastated but said they’re not giving up until they bring their mother home.

“We don’t care about you guys. Give us back my mom,” Tony Lopez said.

The FBI is being tight-lipped about the case since the suspects are still at large, but a spokesperson said they are working with Mexican authorities on the case.