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Abducted Arizona Siblings Found Safe



Two Arizona children who have been missing for almost six years have been found safe in Mexico. Investigators say Luis Ramirez was 5 years old and his sister, Kahmila, was 6 months old when they were abducted from a Tucson playground in May 2018. Tucson police say the children were taken by their non-custodial parents, Luis Herrera-Ramirez and Andrea “Vanessa” Ramirez, during a supervised visit and were believed to have fled to Mexico. Investigators say the parents went on the run after being charged with numerous sex crimes involving a child in an unrelated case.

Hear from Erika Ramirez, aunt of the recovered children. ***Media outlets, please courtesy NCMEC when using video message***

According to the U.S. Marshals Service, the parents were arrested on April 5 in Aguascalientes, Mexico about 140 miles north of Guadalajara. The children arrived in Arizona Thursday night and were reunited with family members. Their parents will remain in custody in Mexico pending their return to Arizona. 

Luis is now 12 years old and Kahmila is 6. Their aunt, Erika Ramirez, says they are healthy and seem to be doing okay. No media interviews will be done at this time and she’s asking that everyone respect their privacy as this family adjusts and heals together. She says she’s very grateful to everyone who helped with their search over the years, and she asked NCMEC to share this video message on her behalf.

The U.S. Marshals Service released more information today:

U.S. Marshals Recover Tucson Children Kidnapped by Parents in 2018

TUCSON, Arizona – A couple wanted in the U.S. on multiple charges, including the 2018 kidnapping of their own children, were arrested April 5 in Aguascalientes, Mexico, and their two children have been safely returned to the Arizona Department of Child Services.

Luis Alberto Herrera Ramirez and Andrea Vanessa Ramirez were arrested by ministerial agents of the Specialized Unit to Combat Kidnapping of the State Attorney General's Office, in collaboration with INTERPOL and the U.S. Marshals in the District of Arizona and the USMS Mexico Foreign Field Office.

The children were recovered safely and transported to Arizona where they will be turned over to the Department of Child Safety care until they can be reunited with family. The Ramirezes will remain in custody in Mexico pending their return to Arizona to face the charges against them.

On May 4, 2018, an arrest warrant was issued by Pima County Superior Court after the Ramirezes assaulted an Arizona Department of Child Safety employee and kidnapped their two biological children.

At the time of the incident, both parents were on bond after being indicted for numerous counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and child abuse with a firearm. As a result of these charges, the Ramirez children were removed from their parents’ care and were placed in the custody of the state. During court ordered visitation at a local park in Tucson, Herrera-Ramirez and Ramirez assaulted an Arizona Department of Child Safety worker with a Taser device, and tied her to a tree, before fleeing with their two young children.

On May 3, 2019, the Pima County Superior Court found Herrera-Ramirez and Ramirez guilty in absentia on the indicted charges, including sexual abuse of minors, sexual exploitation, manufacture of child pornography, aggravated assault, kidnapping and unlawful flight to avoid prosecution. Shortly after, the U.S. Marshals Service elevated the investigation to major case status.

The USMS District of Arizona Task Force adopted the case and immediately began working to locate and apprehend Herrera-Ramirez and Ramirez, with the goal of recovering the children. After running down numerous leads, USMS investigators determined the Ramirezes had fled to Mexico.

In August 2023, investigators developed information that the Ramirezes were possibly residing in Aguascalientes and were living under aliases to avoid detection. U.S. Marshals Service personnel continued to work to narrow down a specific location and were able to identify an associate of the Ramirezes who was believed to be aiding them. In March 2024, numerous tips came in, verifying that the suspects were in fact living in Aguascalientes, and had been for several years.

“Of all of the dangerous fugitives the U.S. Marshals arrest, the individuals who are charged with crimes against minors are especially important to us,” said acting U.S. Marshal for the District of Arizona Van Bayless. “The tireless work and cooperation between local, federal and international law enforcement agencies ensured those who violate the trust of children are held responsible for their actions.”

“After five years of hard work, diligence, and perseverance by our federal, state, and local partners, two violent criminals have been apprehended and these children have been brought home safely,” said Tucson Chief of Police Chad E. Kasmar, “When Luis Herrera-Ramirez and Andrea Ramirez committed an unthinkable crime against children and violently assaulted a DCS worker, it deeply affected our Tucson community. I am grateful for the hard work of all our partners in this multijurisdictional operation.”

The children’s story was featured in the Jan. 22 episode of “America’s Most Wanted.” 

The Ramirezes will remain in custody in Mexico pending resolution of their extradition proceedings.


A critical mission of the U.S. Marshals Service is enforcement of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006. The U.S. Marshals Service is committed to assisting local and state law enforcement with investigating and apprehending sex offenders who are not in compliance with their registration and fugitive sex offenders. The U.S. Marshals Service led Arizona WANTED Violent Offender Task Force is responsible for more than 2324 arrests in the last year. Additional information about the U.S. Marshals Service can be found at:


Original blog written by Karen Daborowski



In a heart-wrenching saga that started in the spring of 2018, the U.S. Marshals and the Tucson Police Department are reaching out to the public for assistance in locating Luis Sr. and Andrea Vanessa Ramirez. The couple is accused of abducting their noncustodial children, 5-year-old Luis and 6-month-old Kahmila, from a park in Tucson, Arizona. 

The abduction took place just days after the couple's arraignment on 20 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor. Court documents reveal that these acts occurred between August 2013 and July 2016. Though unrelated to their own children, the charges led to the state removing Luis and Kahmila from their care.

Fearing a life in prison, authorities believe the Ramirezes devised a plan to evade justice. On May 4, 2018, the parents allegedly assaulted a social worker during a supervised visit at Silverlake Park, duct-taping and tasering her before fleeing with the two children.

andrea and luis ramirez mugshots

Andrea and Luis Ramirez. 

The fugitives and the missing children have garnered national attention, with the story featured on REELZ’s “On Patrol Live” and “In Pursuit with John Walsh.” Despite relentless efforts, five years later, there is still no trace of the couple or the two siblings.

luis and kahmila age progressed to 12 and 6

Luis, age progressed to 12, and Kahmila, age progressed to 6.

Forensic artists at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) have created age progression images of Luis and Kahmila providing a glimpse of what they may look like today at ages 12 and 6.

“Our age progression images have played a pivotal role in missing child cases across the country,” said Angeline Hartmann, NCMEC director of communications.  “During this busy holiday time, we’re asking everyone to take a brief moment to look at the faces of these children and the wanted posters. You never know when you might be that one person who can help make a difference.” 

The children’s aunt, Erika Ramirez, has been appointed the children’s legal guardian. “We want nothing more than to bring them home,” said Erika. “We missed celebrating their birthdays again this year. We will never stop looking for you.”

The U.S. Marshals suspect Luis Sr. and Andrea Ramirez are hiding in Mexico with their two kidnapped children. Both Luis and Andrea Ramirez have since been convicted of the sex crimes they committed and are now wanted on Aggravated Assault, Kidnapping, and Unlawful Flight to Avoid Prosecution. If you have any information regarding Luis Sr., Andrea, and their children, Luis and Kahmila, please call NCMEC at 1-800-843-5678, the U.S. Marshals at 1-800-926-8332, or send a tip to     

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Por Karen Daborowski


Debido a la desgarradora saga que comenzó en la primavera del 2018, Los Agentes Fderales y el Departamento de Policía de Tucson están solicitando la ayuda del público para localizar a Luis Sr. y Andrea Vanessa Ramírez. La pareja está acusada de secuestrar a sus hijos de quienes no tenían custodia, Luis de 5 años y Kahmila de 6 meses de un parque en Tucson, Arizona. 

El secuestro tuvo lugar pocos días después de que la pareja fuera procesada por 20 cargos de explotación sexual de un menor. Los documentos jurídicos revelan que estos actos ocurrieron entre agosto de 2013 y julio de 2016. Aunque los cargos no estaban relacionados con sus propios hijos, el estado decidió retirar a Luis y Kahmila de su cuidado.

Al temer ser sentenciados de por vida, las autoridades creen que los Ramírez crearon un plan para evadir la justicia. El 4 de Mayo del 2018, los padres aparentemente agredieron a una trabajadora social durante una visita supervisada en el parque Silverlake, le colocaron cinta adhesiva y la lesionaron con una pistola Taser y después huyeron con los dos niños.

andrea and luis ramirez mugshots

Andrea y Luis Ramirez.

Los fugitivos y los niños desaparecidos han atraído la atención nacional, ya que la   historia fue presentada en el programa de REELZ’s llamado "On Patrol Live" y en el programa llamado "In Pursuit con John Walsh." A pesar de los incansables esfuerzos, cinco años después, todavía no hay rastro de la pareja ni de los dos hermanos.

luis and kahmila age progressed to 12 and 6

Luis, progresión de edad a los 12, y Kahmila, progresión de edad a los 6.

Los artistas forenses del Centro Nacional para Niños Desaparecidos y Explotados (NCMEC por sus siglas en inglés) han creado imágenes de progresión de edad de Luis y Kahmila que brindan una idea de cómo se verían hoy a los 12 y 6 años.

“Nuestras imágenes de progresión de edad han desempeñado un papel fundamental de otros casos de niños desaparecidos en todo el país,” dijo Angeline Hartmann, Directora de Comunicaciones de NCMEC. “Durante esta concurrida época navideña, les pedimos a todos que se tomen un breve momento para mirar los rostros de estos niños y los carteles de búsqueda. Nunca se sabe, quizás tu podrías ser esa persona que pueda ayudar a marcar la diferencia.”

Erika Ramírez, la tía de los niños y designada su tutora legal. Dijo que “Lo único que queremos es traerlos a casa. Este año una vez mas no pudimos celebrar su cumpleaños. Nunca dejaremos de buscarlos.”

Los agentes estadounidenses sospechan que Luis sr y Andrea Ramírez se esconden en México con sus dos hijos secuestrados. Desde entonces, tanto Luis como Andrea Ramírez han sido condenados por los delitos sexuales que cometieron y ahora son buscados por agresión agravada, secuestro y huida ilegal para evitar el procesamiento. Si tiene alguna información sobre Luis Sr., Andrea y sus hijos, Luis y Kahmila, llame a NCMEC al 1-800-843-5678, a los U.S. Marshals al 1-800-926-8332 o puede enviar un aviso a