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FBI: Captors release American woman kidnapped in Mexico

Monica de Leon Barba's 20-year-old cousin, who was kidnapped on the same day, was also freed.
Monica de Leon Barba
Posted at 2:51 PM, Jul 17, 2023

A woman who spent eight months in Mexico after being kidnapped is back home in the U.S. 

The FBI revealed on Saturday that Monica de Leon Barba was released by her captors. 

"No arrests have been made, and an investigation into the identity of her captors remains ongoing," the FBI said in a statement. 

De Leon Barba was kidnapped on Nov. 29, 2022. She was reportedly walking home from work with her dog when she was abducted in Tepatitlán, Jalisco. 

The FBI released surveillance video of De Leon Barba being surrounded by several vehicles before being forced into one of the cars. The dog is seen wandering away as the cars drove off. 

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She has been taken to a hospital for evaluation.


The FBI stated in April that the dog was eventually located by a family member. 

"The FBI investigation is far from over, but we can now work this case knowing an innocent victim is reunited with her family," said Special Agent in Charge Robert Tripp of the FBI San Francisco Field Office.

De Leon Barba's brother shared a picture of himself and his sister on Facebook as they were on their way back to the U.S.

"I need to thank every single person that helped my family and I through this entire ordeal," Gustavo De Leon said in the post's caption. "We can all finally close this chapter in our lives and work on the long road of healing we have ahead."

De Leon Barba's 20-year-old cousin, who was kidnapped on the same day, was also freed.