A woman whose toddler was abducted by her estranged husband and taken to Mexico three decades ago recently discovered her son is back in the United States, living in San Diego.
Kathy Amaya said she hasn’t seen her son David since he was just a toddler. Her husband at the time took the boy to Mexico and she said she’s been looking for the child, who she reported missing, ever since.
David Amaya was raised by his grandparents in Mexico and doesn’t speak English. His father told David he was American but didn't tell his son that he was taken from the country without his mother's permission.
“My father told me my mother had left me abandoned and orphaned,” he told NBC 7 through an interpreter.
“I don’t know my mother and I find out she’s been looking for me for 30 years and I have the longing to meet her for the first time.”
David's father and aunt took him to Mexico under a one-month permit to visit his grandparents. However, he said his father left him there and visited only a handful of times over the last three decades.
On Oct. 30, David tried crossing the U.S./Mexico border without documents.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents detained him for two days with a group of undocumented immigrants.
“They did not believe me that I was an American,” David said through a translator.
His birth certificate shows the 37-year-old was born in Chicago, Ill. in 1976.
Iglesia de Cristo Ministerios Llamada Final Inc de San Diego, based in Point Loma, is providing food and shelter for David as the ministry tries to raise the funds to get him to Wisconsin so he can see his family.
The ministry’s pastor also helped organize a phone call between David and his mother. Even though the two don’t speak the same language, the pastor said the reunion was emotional.
Kathy Amaya told NBC 7 that David has four siblings and she’s excited to have the family reunited.
David finished high school in Mexico and studied music in Monterrey, Mexico. He plays drums and went on tour with a band.
He said now he wants to focus on learning English and pursuing his career as a musician.
He also wants to seek medical treatment for injuries he sustained in a serious vehicle accident.
David lost vision in his left eye and has some pain in his throat from a piece of metal that pierced his skin in the crash.
We reached out to Border Patrol agents to learn more about the David's case but we have yet to receive a response.