DNA confirms that woman in viral TikTok is not missing Kennewick girl Sofia Juarez

Kennewick police receive new information on Sofia Juarez's disappearance
The woman on the left is the subject of a viral TikTok video that's being investigated in connection to the case. On the right is a picture of Sofia Juarez.

KENNEWICK, Wash. — DNA evidence confirms that the woman depicted in a viral TikTok video last year was not Sofia Juarez: The little girl who went missing from her Tri-Cities home in 2003.

According to the most recent update from the Kennewick Police Department, DNA samples were obtained from the woman who shared a resemblance to Sofia in a viral video published in Spring 2021. KPD investigators confirmed that the sample was not a match on March 2, 2022 after an extensive attempt to locate and cooperate with the subject of this TikTok.

For several months after the TikTok went viral last April, KPD investigators tried getting in contact with the subject. Alleged family members of the woman denied that she was Sofia, but investigators wanted to be absolutely sure.

PREVIOUS: KPD releases description of Sofia Juarez kidnapping suspect, announces $10K reward

They contacted a rehabilitation center where the woman was lodged, but they refused to assist unless they were ordered to do so by a Mexican court.

Therefore, the KPD opted to suspend its investigation and try again later on. Months later, the rehabilitation facility still refused to comply.

Later on, Kennewick investigators made contact with a Mexican consul who connected them with law enforcement from the Mexican state of Sinaloa. A formal request was issued through the U.S. Department of Justice in cooperation with the FBI.

In February of 2022, a coordinated search from agents at the FBI Legal Attaché Office in Mexico City located the woman, who provided a voluntary sample. Out of respect for her privacy and the requests of her family, the young woman’s name was not released.

READ: Kennewick police receive new information on Sofia Juarez’s disappearance

That DNA sample was submitted to the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab and returned a negative match—effectively closing this lead.

Even with that being the case, KPD investigators will still search to bring closure to the disappearance of Sofia Juarez.

An adult witness reported seeing Sofia crying and being led to a van by a laughing male near S. Washington St near E. 15th Ave on February 4, 2003.

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The following description of the suspect and vehicle was provided by KPD investigators in June of 2021:

Hispanic juvenile male. Estimated to be 11 to 14 years old at the time (now about 29-32 years of age). At the time of occurrence, described as being light-complexioned, about 5-00 to 5-02, believed to be “chubby” based primarily upon facial features, having a “baby face” with a possible mark on a cheek, dark short wavy hair about 1.5 inches long that appeared greased that lay flat with bangs, and possibly having big hands for a person his age.

Light blue or silver (or gray) older 1970’s to early 1980’s type full-sized panel van with no side windows. Had appearances of possibly being a work-type van, the type that contractors or painters may have used. This is not to imply that it would have been a contractor or painter’s van.

A $10,000 reward has been offered for information leading to the discovery of Sofia Juarez. This was generously donated by a Kennewick couple who requested anonymity but were touched by the story and hope to put a close to this case.


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