An American kidnapped in Mexico makes his way home after spending more than eight months in captivity.
Monica de Leon Barba is on her way back to the United States after she was abducted on the street while walking her dog Asa in Tepatitlán, Mexico, authorities said.
Barba, 30, is “safe and on the way there”. “In the United States, she will be reunited with her family and dog,” the FBI said in a press release on Saturday.
“No arrests were made and investigations into the identity of their abductors are ongoing,” the federal agency said.
“The FBI investigation is far from complete, but we can now proceed with this case with the knowledge that an innocent victim is reunited with his family,” said Special Agent in Charge Robert Tripp.
Barba, originally from San Mateo, California, was kidnapped on November 29, 2022.
The FBI later released security camera footage showing the moment Barba was captured.
The footage shows her accompanying Asa before being forced into a Volkswagen Jetta at the side of the road.
Videos then show her dog walking off-leash through the surrounding streets. Luckily, he was quickly recovered by a family member and returned home.
Investigators believe at least three cars were involved in the kidnapping and identified five people involved in the crime.
Meanwhile, Barba was reunited with her family and Asa on Saturday in San Mateo.
The US Embassy has issued travel advisories for several regions of Mexico, including Jalisco, where Barba was kidnapped.
“Violent crime and gang activity is commonplace in parts of the state of Jalisco,” the embassy said. Innocent bystanders were injured or killed in shootouts between criminal groups. US citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnappings.”
There were several Americans were kidnapped in Mexico this year, including four innocent tourists visiting Matamoros for plastic surgery.
Only two of the US citizens survived the fatal encounter.
The Mexican Gulf Cartel eventually claimed responsibility for the incident, which it believes was a mix-up, and handed over the perpetrators.
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