Sofia Juarez went missing the day before her 5th birthday, on February 4, 2003, in Kennewick, Washington.  She attempted to follow a family member to the store on foot, and young Sofia was never seen again. 

On Thursday, February 4, 2021, on the 18th anniversary of her disappearance, the Washington State Patrol, in partnership with Kam-Way Transportation, unveiled two new Homeward Bound semi-trailers featuring Sofia Juarez.

The semi-trailers feature photos of Sofia Juarez as she appeared in 2003, and an age-progressed photo of what she might look like at 17 years old.

The Homeward Bound program is administered by the WSP Missing and Unidentified Persons Unit. The program uses the high visibility of commercial vehicles to increase awareness surrounding missing individuals in hopes of obtaining leads regarding possible whereabouts from the public.   According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, 1 out of 6 children are recovered due to the public viewing a picture. Since this program was established, three children featured on trucks have been recovered.

The project was spearheaded by Trooper Renee Padgett in 2005. The back of the new Homeward Bound trailers will also feature a remembrance to Trooper Padgett, who lost a years-long battle with cancer. Her work and dedication to the program helped reunite many families.

The original trucking company that worked with Trooper Padgett eventually moved locations, halting the program for a year.  In 2018, Kam-Way Transportation stepped forward and the program was reestablished.

“Our company is grateful for the opportunity to give back to our community,” said Kam-Way CEO Kam Sihota. “We are privileged to be able to help families with these extraordinarily challenging situations.”

The Kennewick Police Department has mounted a years-long search for Sofia, following every lead and amassing a case file that exceeds 20,000 pages. “We had thousands of people, not just from Kennewick and the Tri-Cities community, but from the surrounding areas, assisting us as well,” says Chief Ken Hohenberg of the Kennewick Police Department.

“The Sofia Juarez missing persons case continues to be, and has always been a priority case for the Kennewick Police Department.  We will continue to make every effort to determine what happened to Sofia,” states Chief Hohenberg.

Anybody with information on what happened to Sofia Juarez, or any other missing person is asked to call 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678).