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Missing teen mother and child found safe

Posted at 12:36 PM, Jun 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-23 20:38:18-04

UPDATE: Eugenia and Sandra have been found safe and have returned home.
Original story:

SALT LAKE CITY — Monday marks four days since a teenage mother and her toddler daughter disappeared from her parent's Salt Lake City home.

Police say they are doing all they can to find them but that so far, this case does not rise to the level of an Amber Alert, but they are still asking the public for help.

The concern is rising over the whereabouts of 17-year-old Eugenia Martinez and her 3-year-old daughter, Sandra Juarez Martinez.

“We’ve basically exhausted all the leads we can think of," Salt Lake City Police Detective Greg Wilking said.

According to relatives, Martinez and her daughter left her parent's home Thursday afternoon, telling them she was going to look for a job.

But they never returned home that day and by Friday, Martinez's father was very concerned and called police.

Detectives say they have checked the places where Martinez was going to look for work and no one had seen her.

They also checked local hotels, motels and shelters all with no luck.

“So we’re kind of at a loss," Wilking said.

Police say they’re receiving some criticism on social media for not issuing an Amber Alert but they say there are specific criteria needed and those haven’t been met yet.

“There needs to be somebody that has been abducted, physically taken and then there needs to be information that can be followed up on such as a vehicle, a license plate and we don’t have any of those," Wilking said. "We just have her simply walking away from home on her own accord with her three-year-old daughter.”

Police are aware that mom is just 17, so they are technically looking for two minors, and are very concerned about their welfare.

“She has very little money, no cell phone to speak of, no relatives in the area, no friends in the area," Wilking said. "She is newly into Utah from Mexico so there is a language barrier there along with not knowing the area.”

The woman's father, Alejandro Martinez, told FOX he’s been in Salt Lake for 10 years but his daughter had only been here a little more than six months. He said she does not know the area and he is very worried about her and his granddaughter.

If you have seen them or have any information, you're asked to call Salt Lake City Police at 801-799-3000.