Nine-year-old Mariel and her 7-year-old brother Luis disappeared from a home in the 290 block of Lang Ford Avenue in Arvin, California at 10:00 p.m. on September 11, 2011.
The next evening, their 27-year-old mother, Mariela Mendizabal was found dead at the same address, having been stabbed in the neck.
Authorities believe that Mendizabal was murdered by Maico Lopez, her boyfriend and the children's father. Luis & Mariel were seen with him on public transportation in Los Angeles the morning after Mariela's murder. Investigators think that Maico took the children to Mexico. He is wanted for homicide and for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.
Mariela and Maico had lived at the Lang Ford Avenue home for several years, but about a month before her death, the couple separated and Mariela moved elsewhere with the children.
A neighbor said Mariela was worried about Maico's mental state and thought that he might harm himself. Due to the circumstances of their abduction, the children are considered to be endangered and their whereabouts are unknown & their cases remain unsolved.