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9-year-old Texas girl missing from 2016 is found after viewer tips off a popular TV show

Junie Sihlangu
Mar 29, 2018
07:25 A.M.

A little girl named Mariah Martinez was found recently after disappearing in 2016. Her mother had taken her and her siblings away after she found out she could lose them.

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When Mariah’s mother was found in January this year the little girl wasn’t there. According to Fox News, Mariah was found on March 26, 2018, after a viewer gave a tip-off to the police.

Mariah, 9, was last seen on October 18, 2016, after being taken from her home in Lubbock, Texas. The girl was featured in a segment of A&E’s Live PD program on Friday, March 23, 2018.

The show’s hosts shared the events that led to the little girl’s disappearance. The girl’s mother, Amanda Martinez, was close to losing custody of her three children because a court order had been issued after her boyfriend allegedly punched the 5-year-old in the nose.

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He had also threatened to kill the family by driving their car into a pond. That’s when Amanda decided to run away instead of going to court.

Fox2Now reported that she took Mariah, then 8-years-old, and her two siblings, Jeremiah Martinez, 5, and Leimiah Martinez McGavok, 2. Police were tipped off to the family’s whereabouts in January 2017.

‘Mariah was featured on Live PD on A&E Friday. We received a viewer tip & worked w/ Lubbock Police Department & New Mexico State Police to find her. Big thank you for bringing home one of our missing kids!’

NCMEC, Fox News, March 29, 2018

They found Amanda and two of her children but not Mariah. The mother was arrested on felony charges and is in police custody.

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Police tried to find out where Mariah was through her mother, but Amanda refused to cooperate, according to the program. It was believed that Mariah was still in Texas but could have been in New Mexico due to her mother's connections in the state.

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Live PD ended by asking viewers to contact the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children [NCMEC] if they had any information. Somebody actually did and because of that person’s actions, the center posted to Facebook on Tuesday that Mariah was found in New Mexico.

The Lubbock Police Department released a statement saying, ‘The Lubbock Police Department is thankful that the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children continued to place this case at the top of their priority list, ensuring that Mariah return[s] home safely.’

Police have not released any further details of where the girl was located or who she was with when she was found.

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