Monica de Leon Barba Update: A Californian woman kidnapped in Mexico last year has been found, according to the FBI

SAN FRANCISCO – According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, a woman who was kidnapped in Mexico last year has been found.

San Mateo resident Monica de Leon Barba was released by her captors on July 14, the FBI said.

On Nov. 29, 2022, she was kidnapped in Tepatitlán, Jalisco, Mexico, while walking her dog home from work, the FBI said.

Barba was raised in California and spent most of her life there before moving to Mexico to find a job in photography.

The FBI said she is safe and will return to her family in the United States.

“For the past eight months, FBI officials in California and Mexico have worked tirelessly with family and associates here and in Mexico,” said Special Agent in Charge Robert Tripp of the FBI’s San Francisco field office. “Our relief and joy at the safe return of Monica and Gael is immense. The FBI investigation is far from complete, but we can now handle this case with the knowledge that an innocent victim is reunited with his family. On behalf of the FBI, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to our law enforcement partners, the family, and the community of San Mateo for their continued dedication and advocacy. You have never forgotten Monica, and neither have we.”

No arrests were made as authorities continue to search for the suspects.

Meanwhile, a Southern California family continues to search for their mother, who was also kidnapped in Mexico.

Maria Del Carmen Lopez, 63, was abducted from her Mexican home in February.

Her family continues to draw attention to her disappearance.

Her daughter Zonia Lopez said the news that Barba was found in Mexico also gives her family hope for her own mother.

The FBI is also working on the Lopez case.

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