Missing 2-year-old found safe in Mexico, one month after officials launch search for child, father and fiancé

The child’s father failed to return the 2-year-old to her mother’s custody in Pullman on June 3.

SANTA ANA, Sonora — A missing 2-year-old girl was found safe in Mexico last weekend, over a month after authorities launched an investigation into her father and a missing Washington State University graduate. 

The Pullman Police Department said the missing 2-year-old was found at a roadside checkpoint near Santa Ana, Mexico. The child’s father, Aaron Aung, and his fiancé, Nadia Cole, were detained by Mexican authorities and turned over to the United States Customs and Border Protection. 

Police said Aung is being held in the Santa Cruz County Detention Center in Nogales, Arizona, where he is waiting for extradition back to Whitman County on a warrant for first-degree custodial interference. Aung failed to return the 2-year-old to her mother’s custody in Pullman on June 3, according to police.

Police said Cole was deported back to the United States while the 2-year-old girl is in the care of Arizona Child Protective Services.

Pullman and Moscow police have been working with FBI Seattle since early June to locate the 2-year-old and reunite her with her mother, who was reported missing at the end of May.

Cole was last seen May 29 leaving Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. According to a press release from a private investigator for Cole’s family, Cole left her belongings at an airport gate to use the restroom but never returned. She was then seen leaving the airport with “a distressed expression.” 

Last month the FBI, Moscow Police Department, Pullman Police Department and other local law enforcement agencies served a search warrant at a home connected to an investigation involving the missing two-year-old girl, Aung and Cole.

According to the Pullman Police Department, the search warrant was served at the family home of Aung in Moscow on June 18.

Police said the warrant authorized the search of the home itself, vehicles and persons to help collect evidence related to the disappearance of Aung, Cole and the 2-year-old.

Officials issued an arrest warrant for Aung for first-degree custodial interference, saying Aung violated a Latah County District Court parenting plan for retaining custody of his missing 2-year-old.

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