A 9-year-old Texas girl who went missing two years ago is safe after a tip led police to New Mexico, where the child was found unharmed.
Mariah Martinez of Lubbock, Texas, was reported missing in October 2016, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Authorities at the time suspected her mother of kidnapping Mariah, as she was about to lose custody.
Police later tracked down the mother, who was with two of her other children, but Mariah was nowhere to be found. The woman refused to offer any details regarding Mariah’s whereabouts, according the the NCMEC.
The young girl’s discovery came after A&E aired a re-run of the documentary series, “Live PD,” last Friday. A viewer recognized Mariah, who was featured in the episode, and contacted the authorities.
#Missing child Mariah Martinez, 9, is SAFE thanks to #LivePD! After almost 2yrs, she was found last night in NM. Mariah was feat. on @OfficialLivePD Friday. We received a viewer tip & worked w/ @LubbockPolice & @NMSP to find her. Big TY for bringing home one of our @missingkids! pic.twitter.com/JCBE5TLYJ1
— NCMEC (@MissingKids) March 27, 2018
That tip led police and the MCMEC to Mariah’s location in New Mexico.
“While detectives with the Lubbock Police Department’s Family Crimes Unit worked the case from the beginning, often times following leads across state lines, due to jurisdictional restrictions they were unable to take custody of Mariah,” the Lubbock Police Department said in a statement following the discovery.
— Lubbock Police Dept. (@LubbockPolice) March 27, 2018
Though they did not release further information about where Mariah was found or who she was with, the department confirmed that the child was safe. They thanked NCMEC for staying on top of Mariah’s case and playing a vital role in her return home.