A woman from California who was abducted in Mexico in November is now at liberty.
According to ABC, the FBI announced Friday that Monica de Leon Barba had been released.
De Leon Barba was kidnapped while out walking her dog in Tepatitlán, Jalisco, Mexico.
Gael De Leon, De Leon’s cousin who had been abducted in a different incident, was also let free on Friday.
Regarding the release of the two women, the FBI gave no further information.
“For the past eight months, FBI personnel in California and Mexico have worked tirelessly with the family and with partners in Mexico. Our relief and joy at the safe return of Monica is profound,” said Special Agent Robert Tripp of the FBI San Francisco Office, according to the Independent.
“The FBI investigation is far from over, but we can now work this case knowing an innocent victim is reunited with her family,” Tripp said, noting that no arrests were made.
Tripp called De Leon Barba’s case a “targeted kidnapping,” adding that her family was asked for a ransom.
De Leon Barba’s brother, Gustavo de Leon, shared a photo of the two of them on Facebook.
? Woman kidnapped in Mexico for months now home.
Monica De Leon Barba is now back in the Bay Area, almost 8 months since she was kidnapped in Mexico while she was walking her dog. The FBI said she was released yesterday and said no arrests have been made … pic.twitter.com/edulY0mPKs
— Gia Vang (@Gia_Vang) July 16, 2023
“For the first time in a very long time we have good news! I need to thank every single person that helped my family and I [through] this entire ordeal. We can all finally close this chapter in our lives and work on the long road of healing we have ahead,” he wrote.
#BREAKING: This video shows Monica DeLeon Barba moments before her kidnapping in Tepatitlán, Jalisco, Mexico, while walking with her dog on Nov. 29, 2022. The 1st half of the video depicts Monica walking with her dog. The 2nd half shows 3 vehicles fleeing after her kidnapping. pic.twitter.com/K1ulV99jeu
— FBI SanFrancisco (@FBISanFrancisco) April 13, 2023
The FBI made a video of de Leon Barba’s kidnapping public in April. Later, the relatives of the victim received the dog she had been walking.
A reward of up to $40,000 had been offered by the FBI for information that could help discover and release de Leon Barba.
The state of Jalisco, where de Leon Barba was taken, has received a travel advisory from the State Department.
“Reconsider travel due to crime and kidnapping,” the warning said.
“Violent crime and gang activity are common in parts of Jalisco state. In Guadalajara, territorial battles between criminal groups take place in tourist areas. Shooting incidents between criminal groups have injured or killed innocent bystanders. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping,” the warning said, using the acronym “LPRs” for “lawful permanent residents.”