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Washington man arrested after fleeing to Mexico with missing 2-year-old daughter, fiancée: police

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Washington authorities on Monday announced that officials located 2-year-old Seraya Aung Harmon, who had been missing from Moscow, Idaho, since May 29, at a checkpoint near Santa Ana, Mexico.

Pullman, Washington, officials allege the toddler’s 21-year-old father, Aaron Aung, failed to return Seraya to her mother’s custody on June 3. He then allegedly fled to Mexico with his daughter and his fiancée, 21-year-old Nadia Cole, who disappeared from Seattle International Airport that same day.

“Aaron Aung is currently being held in the Santa Cruz County Detention Center in Nogales, Arizona, awaiting extradition back to Whitman County on an outstanding warrant for Custodial Interference 1st Degree. Cole was subsequently deported back to the United States. Seraya has been in the care of Arizona Child Protective Services,” the Pullman Police Department said in a press release.

Officials with the Pullman PD, Moscow Police Department, FBI, National Institute of Migration, Mexican State Police, the Nogales Police Department and U.S. Customs and Border Protection coordinated to bring the trio home.

WASHINGTON WOMAN, IDAHO FIANCEE MAY HAVE FLED TO MEXICO WITH MISSING 2-YEAR-OLD SERAYA AUNG HARMON: POLICE

Seraya Aung

“This has been an incredible cooperative effort. We are so thankful for all of the agencies involved and the safe outcome for everyone,” the Moscow Police Department said in a Thursday statement.

Cole’s parents, Kirk and Beata Cole, issued a statement saying the 21-year-old recent college gradate was “found safe and unharmed by Mexico police” on July 4, and she “voluntarily came back to her parents.”

RECENT WSU GRAD’S DISAPPEARANCE FROM SEATTLE AIRPORT TIED TO MISSING IDAHO MAN, TODDLER

“Since her return, Nadia has been fully cooperating with authorities to help locate and aid in the safe return of Aaron Aung and 2-year-old Seraya Aung Harmon,” Kirk and Beata said in a statement. “She is recovering from her ordeal at a secure private location. Details of the circumstances that led to her disappearance remain part of an ongoing investigation, and we trust that more information will be released as deemed appropriate by the investigating agencies.”

Nadia Cole and Aaron Aung

Cole’s Instagram shows her engagement to Aung in November 2023. 

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Prior to their May 29 disappearances, Seraya was with Aung in his hometown of Moscow. Cole’s last known location was the Seattle International Airport as she prepared to leave for a family vacation in Italy, according to police and a statement from Cole’s family. She was waiting to board her flight when she “left her belongings at the gate to use the restroom and never returned.”

Aaron Aung

“Initially, Aung was thought to have traveled to Montana because he was seen buying camping gear and a Montana map book in Moscow,” police said at the time. “However, the investigation later revealed that Aung and Cole likely traveled to Mexico in a black 2014 Cadillac XTS with Idaho license 1L5147U.”

Authorities on June 5 issued an arrest warrant for Aung for first-degree custodial interference for allegedly violating a court-ordered parenting plan, because Seraya was scheduled to be returned to her mother just days after they were last seen in Moscow.

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