FRESNO, Texas – A Texas woman and her long-missing daughter arrived Saturday morning in Houston, ending an eight-year cross-border case that had mistakenly sent another girl to the U.S. against her will.
Houston resident Dorotea Garcia and 13-year-old Alondra Diaz arrived at Bush Intercontinental Airport on Saturday morning from Guadalajara, Mexico.
Diaz, a native-born U.S. citizen, was taken to Mexico in 2007 by her father without her mother's consent and Diaz's whereabouts hadn't been known until recently.
The case gained attention last month after a judge in Mexico erroneously ruled that 14-year-old Alondra Luna was the missing girl and ordered her turned over to Garcia. DNA testing showed she wasn't Garcia's daughter and she returned to her real family.
Garcia and Diaz spoke with reporters outside of Garcia's suburban Houston home on Saturday afternoon.
"I love her, and I am so happy having her here," Garcia said. When asked what it means to have her daughter back, she replied, "No more gray days."
The garage door on the front of the house had been decorated with balloons and signs that said in Spanish, "Welcome Alondra" and "We love you very much, Alondra."
Throughout the news conference, mother and daughter hugged each other, and Garcia became emotional several times.
When asked about returning home to the United States to live with her mother, Alondra said in Spanish, "I want to learn many things about the United States, about my family."
Garcia said that she had been waiting for this day for many years.
"I can touch her now," she said in Spanish.