LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Federal Bureau of Investigation Thursday was seeking the public’s help in identifying potential witnesses and people of interest in the Los Angeles area who might have information about the 2016 murder of a woman and disappearance of her now 7-year-old daughter.
Arianna Fitts, seen in these 2015 family photos, was 2-years-old when she was reported missing in 2016. On Thursday, the FBI released an age progression of what the now 7-year-old might look like. (Credit: FBI San Francisco)
“There’s no way I ever thought that it would take five years to find her,” Tess Fitts, Arianna’s aunt, said. “I absolutely still remain hopeful. I do believe that she is alive.”
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According to the FBI, Arianna Fitts, then 2, and her 32-year-old mother, Nicole Fitts, were reported missing by family members April 5, 2016. Just three days later, Nicole’s body was found in a shallow hole in a park just south of San Francisco.
The investigation found that the toddler was last seen in Oakland in February 2016 in the care of her babysitter and the woman’s husband. The FBI said Fitts was “lured out of her residence about 9 p.m. on April 1, 2016 — the day she was last seen alive — by a phone call urging her to ‘go meet the babysitter.”‘
Investigators said that they do not believe Arianna was with her mother when she was killed, though they said witnesses or people of interest could be living in the Los Angeles area.
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“The FBI and SFPD want to speak to everyone who interacted with Nicole leading up to her disappearance,” the San Francisco Police Department said in a statement. “Try to remember every detail you can, no matter how insignificant you think it maybe.
“If you remember something, please contact us even if you previously talked with us,” the statement continued. “As we have continued to collect information, analyze forensic evidence and have developed new leads, SFPD and the FBI will be reaching out to people again in the coming months.”
SFPD has authorized a $100,000 reward for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of those responsible for the disappearance and murder. Fitts’ former employer, Best Buy, is also offering a $10,000 reward.
Anyone with information was asked to call the FBI San Francisco Division at 415-553-7400 or the SFPD Tip Line at 415-575-4444.
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