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FBI offers $20,000 reward in hunt for American woman kidnapped in Mexico

The FBI is offering an up to $20,000 reward for information that leads to the rescue of an American woman who was kidnapped in Mexico last month. 

The FBI’s Los Angeles field office said in a statement on Thursday that it is offering the reward as part of its search for Maria del Carmen Lopez, a 63-year-old U.S. woman who was kidnapped from her residence in Pueblo Nuevo, Colima, in Mexico on Feb. 9. 

Lopez is a Hispanic woman with blonde hair and blue eyes who is 5 feet 2 inches tall and weighed about 160 pounds when she was last seen, according to the statement. 

The office said anyone with information about Lopez’s location should contact their local FBI field office or the nearest U.S. Embassy or consulate. The FBI is working with law enforcement in Mexico on the investigation into Lopez’s whereabouts. 

CBS reported that Lopez is a mother to seven children, and several of them live in Southern California. 

Zonia, one of Lopez’s daughters, said no threats were ever made against her mother and she had no enemies. 

A cousin of Lopez’s children said they saw a group of up to five people at Lopez’s house when she disappeared, CBS reported. 

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Zonia said a car drove onto her mother’s property, an “exchange of words” happened and the cousin heard Lopez say she would not get into a car. She said the people who picked Lopez up had their heads covered, and they covered her mouth. 

CBS reported that Lopez’s children believe what happened was a crime of opportunity, while Zonia said she does not believe it was an isolated incident.

The announcement of the reward comes after four Americans were kidnapped at gun point allegedly by members of a Mexican drug cartel just after they crossed into Matamoros, Tamaulipas, in Mexico earlier this month. Two of them were killed, while the other two were rescued.

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