A Houston mother was reunited with her missing daughter Friday after an eight-year search that drew international attention when another girl was mistakenly sent to Texas against her will.
A Mexican judge ordered that Alondra Diaz, 13, be returned to her mother, Houston resident Dorotea Garcia, after a DNA test confirmed the girl's identity, the Associated Press reported.
The move came after a 14-year-old Mexican girl was sent last month by authorities kicking and screaming to the United States. Video circulated widely online of a screaming Alondra Luna Nuñez being dragged by law enforcement from her middle school in Guanajuato, Mexico, on April 16 into a vehicle.
The teenager could be heard screaming "I am not your daughter" and "You're going to pay" to a woman believed to be Garcia, who was sitting in the SUV. At one point Nuñez is seen pulling the woman's hair and had to be pulled off by police.
After the video was widely circulated, Reynaldo Diaz took the real Alondra Diaz to family members who then presented her to authorities, saying she was prepared to go live with her mother.
According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Garcia was allegedly taken on June 1, 2007, by Diaz, her father. He has a felony warrant issued against him.
Mexican officials said Garcia traveled to the state of Guanajuato in March and had identified Luna as her daughter who had been illegally taken to Mexico eight years ago. She reported her findings to U.S. authorities.
The judge overseeing the case enlisted the aid of Interpol in order to bring the girl to court and later take her to the United States, said the Mexican foreign ministry. During the April 17 hearing Judge Cinthia Elodia Mercado ruled in favor of Garcia and ordered Luna into her custody.
Mercado was the same judge who oversaw the return of Alondra Diaz on Friday.
The Associated Press reported that Luna's parents didn't present proper documents. Her parents and Garcia had each presented birth certificates and testified during the hearing. Luna said a DNA test was not performed even though she requested one from Judge Mercado, who said it wasn't within her duties to order a DNA test.
The family of the girl who was incorrectly identified said they intend to file a formal complaint with authorities next week for the incident.
Adolfo Flores is a national security correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles. He focuses on immigration.
Contact Adolfo Flores at email@example.com.
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