AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A Texas girl reported kidnapped 12 years ago was found near Mexico City with her mother after authorities received a tip, and the mother was quickly flown to Texas and jailed on kidnapping charges, investigators said Wednesday.
The FBI and Mexico authorities said 17-year-old Sabrina Allen, whose case was twice profiled on the television show "America's Most Wanted," was found Tuesday night in Papalotla, Tlaxcala. She was 4 years old when she was reported missing by her father in 2002, after she vanished following a weekend visit with her mother.
"She's in pretty bad shape as far as my understanding," her father, Gregory Allen, said during a news conference with the FBI and Austin police on Wednesday. "She was not living a regular life. She has not been going to school."
Allen said he has not yet seen his daughter, but said he knew what his first question would be: "I'm going to ask her if I can give her a hug."
The teen and her mother, Dara Llorens, were flown back to Texas early Wednesday. Llorens is now jailed in Austin on an aggravated kidnapping charge and being held on a $300,000 bond. It was not immediately clear if Llorens has an attorney.
U.S. and Mexican authorities said that she and her daughter had been living in an apartment and that Llorens initially put up some resistance when she was arrested by Mexican officers. But investigators released no other details about the arrest or about how long they believed she had been in Mexico with her daughter.
Six months after the girl was reported missing, a friend of the mother's told the FBI that he had dropped Llorens and her daughter off at the international bridge in Laredo and that he believed she went into Mexico.
Allen said his daughter was meeting with a therapist, but he and authorities declined to say where she was staying.
Allen had hired a private investigator to help find his daughter. He said authorities were recently tipped by a confidential informant, but he declined to give more details. Allen also recalled one trip where he spent a month walking through neighborhoods handing out flyers about the missing girl.
Allen has since remarried and had more children. He said they only know they have a sister who has been missing for years.
"This has been a long road. What wound up happening is we got lucky," Allen said.
Associated Press reporter Peter Orsi contributed to this report from Mexico City.