9-year-old Mariah Martinez found safe after 2 years

9-year-old Mariah Martinez found safe after 2 years
Source: National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - 9-year-old Mariah Martinez, the third of three children who went missing in October 2016, has been found in New Mexico, thanks to a tip generated by the A&E show Live PD.

Lubbock police were contacted by an investigator with the Department of Family and Protective Services to file a missing person case on behalf of three siblings back in October 2016.

At the time, Mariah Martinez was 8, Jeremiah Martinez was 5, and Leimiah Martinez McGavok was 2 years old.

The investigator told officers their department had obtained a court order to remove the children from their parent's custody, but that the investigator had been unable to track down the family.

KCBD obtained an affidavit which filed for the children's emergency removal from their mother, which gives us a closer look at what led police to issue a missing and endangered person's report.

According to the report, on Oct. 6, CPS workers talked with Jerimiah at his school. The report states Jerimiah said his mother's boyfriend punched him in the nose after a fight with her. He also stated the boyfriend, Isaac Sanders threatened to kill the whole family by driving into a pond. According to the affidavit, on Oct. 17, teachers at Mariah and Jeremiah's school reached out to CPS after the kids had not been at school in a week. This was the same day their mother, Amanda Martinez, tested positive for methamphetamine.

CPS tried to get in contact with Martinez on the Oct. 20, but officials say by then, she and her children were gone.

Around 2:45 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017, police received a call that two of the children had been dropped off to be with their mother in the 8900 block of University by a family member.

Amanda Martinez was arrested on the felony charges.

Mariah remained missing until she was found this week, March 26, in the New Mexico area. She was featured in this Live PD segment on Friday, March 23.

Lubbock police issued this statement on Tuesday:

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 home safely.

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