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TV Broadcast Leads to Recovery of Texas Girl Missing for Two Years

Missing Texas girl found after A&E's Live PD Broadcast
Live PD Video Screenshot

Police in New Mexico recovered a nine-year-old Texas girl missing for two years. The discovery came after a tip following a broadcast on A&E’s Live PD Friday night.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) tweeted the news of nine-year-old Mariah Martinez’ recovery Tuesday afternoon. “We received a view tip & worked with @LubbockPolice & @NMSP to find her,” the group tweeted. “Big TY for bringing home one of our @missingkids!”

Lubbock police thanked the NCMEC for staying with the case to a successful conclusion. Officials said Mariah went missing on October 21, 2016. Lubbock police Family Crimes Unit detectives followed the case from the beginning and followed leads that frequently led them across state lines. “Due to jurisdictional restrictions, they were unable to take custody of Mariah,” officials said in a written statement.

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services were in the process of taking Mariah and her siblings into protective custody after the mother tested positive for methamphetamine, KCBD NBC11 reported. After obtaining a court order to take custody of the children, officials were unable to locate the family.

The action from state officials followed an outcry report on October 6, 2016, from the 5-year-old Jeremiah Martinez that his mother’s boyfriend punched him in the nose after fighting with his mother. The boyfriend, Issac Sanders also threatened to kill the entire family, according to a CPS affidavit obtained by the Lubbock NBC affiliate.

School officials notified CPS on October 17, 2016, that the children had not been in school for a week. This is also the day the mother, Amanda Martinez, tested positive for methamphetamine, the affidavit stated.

On October 20, CPS officials attempted to make contact with the mother but she and the children were gone. The following day, CPS officials contacted the Lubbock Police Department and reported the children missing.

Police recovered two of the children on January 17, 2017 in Lubbock. Police arrested Amanda Martinez on felony charges but Mariah remained missing.

A&E’s Live PD aired a feature from NCMEC about Mariah on Friday, March 23. Following the airing of the plea for help, the NCMEC received a tip as to Mariah’s possible whereabouts. Police in New Mexico found her on March 26.

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