New Mexico authorities found missing 9-year-old Mariah Martinez “in good health” on Monday night living with “extended family” in an apartment in Albuquerque, according to new details released to PEOPLE about the search for the Texas girl who was disappeared more than a year ago.
Mariah was found thanks to a tip someone called in after watching a segment about Mariah on A&E’s reality TV series Live PD on March 23, according to New Mexico State Police Lt. Elizabeth Armijo.
“This person,” Armijo tells PEOPLE, “recognized the child and the state police was later contacted.”
Mariah was reported missing to authorities in Lubbock on Oct. 21, 2016.
Armijo says the New Mexico State Police started investigating the tip and conducted several interviews with a number of people who provided invaluable information about the girl’s whereabouts.
“We got this general idea that she was in Albuquerque,” Armijo says. “We located her through information we had obtained through the interviews we conducted and subsequent surveillance of the apartment in the Albuquerque area where we eventually found her.”
Armijo says Mariah had been living with extended family members.
The girl was taken into custody on Monday around 8 p.m. and is now in the care of the New Mexico Children, Youth, and Families Department, who will decide what happens next in the case.
Representatives with the department did not respond to a message from PEOPLE on Friday. Efforts to reach Mariah’s relatives for comment were unsuccessful.
“It’s up to the courts to determine where she will be placed,” Armijo tells PEOPLE, noting Mariah’s mother and father had already lost custody of her, which is why “these family members had her.”
Armijo says Mariah was “taken care of and is in good health” and adds that state police conducted a follow-up investigation into the relatives “to see if she had been abused or if there was criminal activity that was occurring with her while she was with her family and that investigation revealed no such activity.”
According to Armijo, “The family members were aware she had been reported missing but they were keeping her for own her well-being.”
No one has been arrested in the case and Armijo says, “There was nothing on our side that would lead to criminal charges.”
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The Case So Far
Authorities have said Mariah and her two siblings — Jeremiah, who was 5 at the time, and Leimiah, who was 2 — vanished in 2016 with their mother, Amanda Martinez, soon after a court order was issued removing the three siblings from her custody.
Texas’ Department of Family and Protective Services started investigating the children’s parents after Jeremiah allegedly told his teacher his mother’s boyfriend abused him physically and threatened to kill the entire family.
Local news outlets report that Amanda was arrested on Jan. 17, 2017, after returning to Lubbock and leaving Jeremiah and Leihmiah with a relative.
She was charged with interference with child custody, according to McClatchy. Though her siblings were reportedly recovered following Amanda’s arrest, Mariah was nowhere to be found. Investigators allege Amanda refused to disclose Mariah’s location.
Amanda pleaded no contest to the interference charge in April 2017, court records show. As a result, for three years she must avoid any additional arrests and is prohibited from having contact with her children.
She was ordered to submit to DNA testing, has to refrain from patronizing businesses that sell alcohol and complete substance abuse treatment, according to these records. In addition, she must be home between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. and was ordered to complete 120 hours of community service, of which she’s completed six.
In a statement issued Tuesday, Lubbock police said they were “thankful that the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children continued to place this case at the top of their priority list, ensuring that Mariah return[ed] home safely.” (A Lubbock police spokesman was unavailable for comment Friday.)
According to Armijo, Mariah’s case is “rare.”
“The fact that she is in good health is a relief to the people who hear about these stories,” Armijo says. “This is the whole point of having segments on these kids and putting faces on [the] news — there are success stories.”