An American woman who was kidnapped in Mexico last November while walking home with her dog is now on the loose. The attackers released the woman after eight months. For now, no details are known about what exactly happened to the woman during this time. It is known that her cousin was also kidnapped.
US citizen Monica De Leon Barba was freed by her captors on July 14, the FBI said in a statement. The abduction took place eight months earlier, on November 29, 2022, in the Mexican city of Tepatitlan, Jalisco. No arrests have been made so far, but the FBI says the investigation is still ongoing. Robert K. Tripp of the FBI reported that the woman lived in Mexicobut after regaining freedom, she returned to her hometown of San Mateo, California, where she could meet her loved ones again.
Kidnapped American freed after eight months
The woman was kidnapped in November, but the FBI first confirmed that it was investigating the case in March. At that time, it was reported that 40,000 were offered. a reward of $100,000 to anyone who provides vital information that could help find the woman. In April, recordings were also made available showing her walking with her dog moments before the kidnapping and the very moment of the kidnapping, in which several cars are visible. “Monica was surrounded by several suspects and forced into a gray Volkswagen Jetta. The suspects then drove away in three different cars (…). Monica’s dog, visible in the video, was running alone in the street. It was later found and taken by a family member,” the FBI said at the time.
According to the FBI, the woman’s cousin, Gael De Leon, was also kidnapped in a separate incident, but she was also released by the attackers on the same day as Monica. Precise information about the circumstances of the abduction, detention and release of the women has not yet been disclosed. Both cases are under investigation.
On July 15, Monika’s brother posted a photo with his sister on social media and thanked her for her support while she was in captivity. “We can finally close this chapter in our lives,” he wrote.
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