Missing Persons

Missing 12-Year-Old Earthquake Survivor Who Sparked Intense Two-Day Search Never Existed

Emergency officials were certain that someone was communicating with them from below the rubble.

The world has been captivated by the story earthquake victim “Frida Sofia,” a young girl thought to be trapped under the a school in Mexico City. Rescue workers and volunteers worked tirelessly for days to rescue the 12-year-old girl from the rubble after the city was devastated by a 7.1 earthquake.

But, on Thursday, government officials stated that there was no student with that name enrolled at Enrique Rebsamen School.

“All of the children are, unfortunately, dead or safe at home,” said Angel Enrique Sarmiento, the undersecretary of the navy, according to a report by the Los Angeles Times. In fact, Sarmiento reportedly insisted that the navy never had any knowledge of a girl who was supposedly trapped in the rubble of the three-story school.

That contradicted earlier reports that a child was trapped in the debris. The hope of saving a life fueled the efforts of emergency crew workers who extracted over 20 bodies from the school. Most of those bodies were children.

According to CNN, emergency officials were certain that someone was communicating with them from below the rubble. Most believed that someone was “Frida Sofia.”

“I offer an apology to Mexicans for the information given this afternoon in which I said that the navy did not have any details about a supposed minor survivor in this tragedy,” Sarmiento said at an outdoor news conference. “Nonetheless, the Mexican people should know that as long as the minimum possibility exists that there is someone alive, we will keep on looking with the same determination.”

The false story of the schoolgirl inspired the hashtag #FridaSofia, which trended on Twitter. Tragically, many associated the girl with optimism and hope.

[Photo: Getty Images]

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