WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Dozens of people gathered on Friday night at the scene where Wichita police said Laura Abarca Nogueda was killed and her week-old baby, Sophia, was last seen.
“We are grieving a friend, a family member and we are also very scared because we want to find Sophia,” said Nogueda’s co-worker Priscilla Harris.
The emotions were very raw on Friday. With tears rolling down their faces and their hands gripped tight, family and friends of Nogueda paid their respects to the 27-year-old and East High School graduate. At the same time they prayed for Sophia’s safe homecoming.
“If you see anything, if you could just let anybody know especially the police because we need to get the baby home. The family right now is hurting,” Harris said.
Nogueda and Sophia’s family said with every moment that passes and Sophia isn’t found, their hearts break a little bit more.
“We all trying to bear the pain,” said Nogueda’s brother and Sophia’s uncle Jose Abarca. “Sophia gets found, that she’s safe, that’s all I want right now. I don’t want anything else so badly that my niece is back with me and everybody in my family.”
Wichita police said Nogueda was shot and killed inside her west Wichita home Thursday afternoon. They said Sophia went missing around the same time.
Police, FBI agents, child abduction and kidnapping specialists are working the case. As of Friday night, officials said they did not have any leads. They are urging the public to come forward with any information about the murder and Sophia’s whereabouts.
Abarca said he’s thankful for the community’s support and his family will not give up on the search for Sophia or Nogueda’s murderer.
“All the help we’ll find Sophia and I’m praying hard like everybody else and that’s all I want right now. I just want Sophia back,” Abarca said. “It means, it will mean everything to me. She’s the last part of my sister that I have left.”
Call 1-800-CALL-FBI or 1-800-225-5324 if you have any information related to the case.