LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Authorities Friday sought the public's help to solve the disappearance of a Southland boy who was kidnapped 20 years ago Saturday in Mexico City.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, working with Mexican officials, announced a reward of $20,000 for information leading to Joshua Keshaba Sierra Garcia, who disappeared on Aug. 12, 2003. Authorities also released an "age- generated photo" of what Garcia is believed to now look like.
"Joshua, now 21, is an Hispanic male born in Los Angeles who was visiting Mexico City when he was kidnapped and last seen at approximately 11 a.m. on the morning of Aug. 12, 2003," the FBI said in a statement.
"Joshua is further described as having black hair and brown eyes," the FBI said. "He was 3 feet tall and between 25-28 pounds at the time of his disappearance. He was last seen wearing a gray sweatshirt, blue shorts and sandals. He has pierced ears."
Donald Always, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI's Los Angeles Field Office, urged people to contact authorities with information that could help solve the case.
"While many investigative steps have been taken to find Joshua over the years in both the United States and in Mexico, we have not given up hope that we can find him and determine what happened to him 20 years ago," Always said.
"I'm hopeful that the reward offer, a new photograph, as well additional investigative techniques, will bring someone forward with that piece of information that will lead to Joshua and help us solve this case for his family," Always said.
At the time of the kidnapping, Joshua was in the custody of relatives who had traveled to Mexico City to have him baptized, the FBI said.
"During the kidnapping, Joshua's 14-year-old babysitter was murdered," the FBI said. "After a series of ransom calls, a money drop resulted in the arrest of one kidnapper by Mexican law enforcement authorities who is currently serving a lengthy prison sentence in Mexico. Joshua has never been found."
The investigation is being conducted by the FBI and Mexican law enforcement authorities.
Anyone with information on the case was urged to call the FBI's Los Angeles Field Office at 310-477-6565. Anonymous tips can also be submitted to https://tips.fbi.gov. Tipsters may also contact their local FBI office. Anyone who is overseas can contact the nearest American Embassy or Consulate.