Man tried to extort runaway's mother, Springdale police say

13-year-old girl found safe
Police: Man tried to extort runaway girl's mom
Posted at 4:17 PM, Jul 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-11 15:53:16-04

SPRINGDALE, Ohio -- A girl missing since last week has been found, police said Tuesday.

Springdale police said Reina Marroquin, 13, was unharmed. Officers picked up Marroquin and her mother at their home, so they could talk with them about what happened.

"These investigations take time and the information can be sensitive, so there will likely be no more information released today," a police department news release said.

Marroquin vanished Thursday, and her mother, Lucia Juarez, said she was consumed with anxiety about her daughter's whereabouts. So when a neighbor said he knew where Marroquin was, it seemed like the answer to her prayers.

"I'm worried about her," Juarez said. She spoke Spanish in her conversation with WCPO and allowed her nephew Alex Garcia to translate. 

But police and Juarez said Luis Ramirez, who lived nearby, didn't want to tell her where Marroquin was without receiving something in return. According to police, Ramirez attempted to extort Juarez in exchange for information about her daughter's whereabouts.

Juarez and her family said they believe Ramirez did genuinely know where Marroquin had gone, or at least had contact with her after her disappearance. According to the family, he had Marroquin's pants in his possession.

"He (said he) ran into her or picked her up somehow, took her to the store to get her a drink," Springdale police officer Keenan Riordan said. 

Riordan said Ramirez claimed to have brought Marroquin back to their apartment complex after that interaction.

Ramirez now faces charges of extortion, criminal child enticement and interference with custody.