A Florida mom whose 6-year-old daughter went missing in 2007 was recently reunited with her after a 14-year search. The Clermont Police Department has confirmed that Jacqueline Hernandez, now 19, is back with her mother, Angelica Vences-Salgado.
According to the police's statement, Vences-Salgado informed them that she received a message on social media from a young woman who claimed to be her missing daughter on September 2. Hernandez told her mother she has been living in Mexico all these years and requested to meet up with her at The Point of Entry in Texas on September 10.
Vences-Salgado informed the police since there is still an active warrant for Pablo Hernandez, the girl's father, and the Florida mom's ex-husband. The warrant was issued on December 27, 2007.
The Clermont Police Department sought help from state and federal agencies, including the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the local Texas police department in Laredo, to intercept Hernandez when she met with Vences-Salgado.
Documents from the concerned agencies and the mother and the daughter proved that Hernandez was indeed Vences-Salgado's long-lost daughter.
Strong Partnerships Between Law Enforcement Agency
Clermont Police Chief Charles Broadway stated that the reunion between the Florida mom and her daughter was an excellent example of what could happen if law enforcement agencies worked together, "no matter the complexity or distance." The operation to reunite the two women safely and confirm Hernandez's identity was also made possible through the Enforcement and Removal Operations of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Central Florida Intelligence Exchange, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Orange County Sheriff's Office.
The police department's Capt. Michael McMaster also told NBC News that they are still coordinating with concerned agencies to track the father's whereabouts.
Details of Hernandez's return or how she was able to find her mother was not released to the press. The mother and daughter are not yet ready to grant interviews. Hernandez's kidnapping in 2007 was also not reported in the media.
Dads Who 'Kidnap' Their Kids
In August, a Texas dad sought to clear his name in the media after he was accused of kidnapping his daughter, Sophie, age 10. Michael Long had an exclusive interview with the Daily Mail after authorities issued a warrant for his arrest.
Long said that he took his daughter from her mother, Kelly Long, to protect her from abuse. Kelly, however, denied the abuse accusation and said that her ex-husband didn't have custodial rights for their daughter.
The ex-couple are involved in a custody battle of their three children. The father had set up a crowdfunding campaign online to pay for his legal fees, including a video of Sophie making a distress plea that she doesn't want to be with her mom. According to the Daily Mail, the 10-year-old appeared happy and at ease when she came with her dad for the interview.
In Chicago, police have also issued a public alert for the disappearance of three siblings who were last seen with their dad, Steven Metlow. In July, a father from Michigan, who did not have custody of his baby, sneaked into a crawl space of his ex-wife's house to snatch the child. The police recovered the baby and took the father into custody.
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