Published September 12, 2011
A boy who was only 5 years old when he was taken in 1999 was reunited with his mother on Sunday for the first time in 12 years -- thanks to Facebook.
In 1999, Kattia Liebers was mired in a bitter custody dispute with her husband in her native Costa Rica. And when her husband fled the country, he stole a part of Liebers' life, she told Philadelphia's Fox 29.
"He told me, 'I’m going take your son away from you. I’m going to destroy you,'" Liebers told Fox 29's Chris O'Connell. For years she searched for Jared, unsure where her husband had taken the boy.
"I was crying every day. I couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep," she said.
More than a decade later, the wait is over -- and her life has changed once again. This time, it came by way of a single message on Facebook.
"Hi, is this Kattia Chacon Sanchez by any chance?" the original message asked.
"Who is this?" the mother said she replied.
"I'm Jared Liebers," came the reply.
"If you're Jared Liebers, I'm your mom, and I love you very much," Kattia wrote back.
Jared Liebers had found his mom.
Jared had been living with his father in Israel; on Sunday the 17-year-old moved back to the United States to be with his mother.
Through the years, Kattia kept all of Jared's pictures and toys. And among Jared's current possessions? A book of Spanish words his mother gave him.
Kattia Liebers actually kept her married name so her son would be able to find her after all these years, Fox 29 reported.
Today Jared Liebers is enrolled in North Penn High School in Towamencin Township, Pa. -- and looks forward to catching up on half a lifetime.