‘It gives us hope:’ Missing local girl pictured on new state patrol trucks

KENNEWICK, Wash — Members of the Washington State Patrol and the Kennewick Police Department unveiled their newest effort to find lost children in the state Wednesday afternoon.

This comes on the 18th anniversary of the disappearance of Sofia Juarez, a Kennewick girl who went missing in 2003 when she was four. Thursday, Feb. 5th will be her 23rd birthday.

The department partnered with Kam-Way Transportation to picture Juarez on the side of two new trucks as part of the Homeward Bound program that assists with finding lost people. The hotline number for missing and exploited children is underneath.

Chief of Police Ken Hohenberg said the department plans to continue their search for Juarez and “will never give up.”

“It’s been a long 18 years since Sofia was taken from her home and family,” Hohenberg said. “The Kennewick Police Department has never forgotten about Sofia, nor will we.”

Family members of Sofia said they were grateful for the ongoing case work.

“To continue it, to keep it going after so many years, it’s very big,” said Victoria Juarez. “It’s exciting to know there’s going to be more exposure.”

Juarez added that while the family keeps her alive, they all want answers.

“We have pictures of her and we have her belongings that we have passed down to our kids. We let them know they used to be hers,” Juarez said. “But it’s been very hard witnessing the ache, pain and suffering that this has taken on the family. We need closure.”

Juarez added that everyday, the family hopes they will find her.

“We plead with anybody that knows anything to please just come forward and let that light shine in that dark area,” Juarez said.

If you have any tips, email Special Investigator Al Wehner at al.wehner@ci.kennewick.wa.us or call at 509-582-1331.