Carson Girl Missing for Nearly 4 Months Found Alive

Alinka Angeline Castaneda was reported missing after leaving her home on New Year's Day.

Moses Castillo

A 16-year-old Carson girl who had been missing for nearly four months was found alive Monday.

Alinka Angeline Castaneda had been reported missing after leaving her home Jan. 1. Her mother confirmed to NBC4 that the girl was found and that they had been reunited.

Alinka was found after someone called 911 saying they had spotted her in Venice, according to Moses Castillo, a retired Los Angeles Police Department detective and advocate for the family. Officers with the LAPD showed up and called detectives with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Carson station, who were taking the lead in the case. Those detectives confirmed Alinka's identity and called her mother.

"There is no time for complaints, no time for anything. Simply, when a mother finds her missing child -- hugging her, giving her love, giving her affection," mother Maricela Avila Roses said.

Roses said earlier that her daughter had left home without a credit card, ID, or change of clothes. Since her disappearance, her cellphone had remained disconnected, but then, on Jan. 19, Roses said she got a call from her daughter, leading her to believe the teen was a victim of human trafficking.

“She’s called her family at least three different times. Each time she sounded under duress. And she said something to the effect of, ‘They’re not letting me go. I don’t know where I am at,’ and that she has to hang up,” Castillo said earlier this month.

On Monday, though, authorities said Alinka told them she was neither kidnapped nor trafficked. However, detectives said there are holes in her story and that they'll continue to investigate.


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The city of Carson earlier this month approved a $100,000 reward in the search for Alinka. However, that money was intended to go to anyone with information that led to an arrest in Alinka's disappearance. But since the teen insists no crime has been committed, that reward will not be distributed as of yet.

Correction (Monday, April 17, 2023): This story has been updated to reflect the correct amount of time Alinka had been missing.

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