Family says U.S. citizen missing in Mexico was last seen being forced into a van

A 63-year-old American citizen and mother of seven who has been reported missing in Mexico was last seen being forced into a white van outside her residence in the country, Fox News reported.

The FBI is offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to Maria del Carmen Lopez's whereabouts. The agency says she was last seen at her home in Pueblo Nuevo in Mexico’s Colima state on Feb. 9.

"There was an exchange of words. She was refusing to get into the van," her daughter Zonia Lopez told a local news outlet.

"There was another individual who stepped out of the van and helped those two bring her inside and they drove away," she said, adding that ever since her disappearance, her family "all started calling her to see if she would pick up her phone or answer her messenger and we have not heard from her."

Her daughter added that she doesn't think that drug cartels were involved, instead saying that local gangs that organize kidnappings may be to blame.

Lopez’s disappearance follows a U.S. State Department warning last October for Americans to stay away from Mexico’s Colima state.

"Do not travel due to crime and kidnapping," the State Department warned. "Violent crime and gang activity are widespread. Most homicides are targeted assassinations against members of criminal organizations. Shooting incidents between criminal groups have injured or killed bystanders. U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents have been victims of kidnapping."

"The FBI is offering a reward of up to $20,000 USD for information leading to the physical location of Maria del Carmen Lopez," the FBI’s Los Angeles Office said.