Hope After 29 Years - Where is Katheryne Lugo?
Francis Moya has a message for her missing daughter
When Francis Moya left for work the morning of Jan. 8, 1994, she had no idea it would be the worst day of her life.
For almost 30 years now, Moya has faced that January day with dread as she vividly remembers when her adorable 4-year-old daughter, Katheryne, vanished from their Riviera Beach, Florida apartment.
“She was at the door saying bye to me when I left,” Moya said. “That is the last picture of her that I have in my brain.”
Moya said she left her daughter in the care of a family friend when she went to work that day. When she got home, she was devastated to discover that Katheryne was missing. “I went to work, I came home and she wasn’t there,” Moya said.
After Riviera Beach Police interviewed the family friend, Misbah Kazi, he was charged with kidnapping and brought to trial in 1995. Kazi was acquitted and moved to California. He is currently serving time in prison in an unrelated case.
What happened to Katheryne remains a mystery. Despite an international search for the missing child, there’ve been no concrete leads. Her mother hopes Katheryne will somehow find her way back home. In a recent NCMEC missing case, an abducted baby was found alive after 51 years.
Moya says cases like that give her hope. Today, Katheryne would be a 33-year-old woman. To help find her, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) created an age progression image using photos of Katheryne and family members to show the public what she might look like now.
Katheryne age progressed from 4 to 31-years-old (NCMEC)
Moya said her little girl was a joy to have around and loved to play with her friends. She’s hoping someone out there can help find her daughter. After 29 years, she knows the answers are still out there.
“Our age progression images have been the catalyst to bringing home missing children many times,” said Angeline Hartmann, NCMEC Director of Communications. “We know they can work. We just need the right person to see the image and make that call.”
“It's time for us to know what happened to Katheryne,” Moya said. “We're not going to give up. I think of her every day. I want her to come home so I can hug her and kiss her.”
And Moya has a message for her daughter: “I love you, and I will always love you.”
If you have any information about Katheryne Lugo, please contact the Riviera Beach Police Department in Florida at 1-561-845-4123, the FBI (Florida) at 1-561-833-7517 or NCMEC at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678).
View Katheryne’s Missing Poster here: https://www.missingkids.org/poster/NCMC/786948/1/screen