Up to $40,000 is being offered as a reward by the FBI for information that helps locate an abducted American citizen in Mexico. Monica de Leon Barba was abducted in Tepatitlán, Jalisco, Mexico, on November 29th, 2022. On Thursday, the FBI verified that de Leon Barba was walking home with her dog after a shift.
To find de Leon Barba, federal authorities need the public’s assistance. She was 5 feet and 7 inches tall and had brown hair and eyes, according to the FBI. Her age is given as 29. The San Francisco FBI office verified to USA TODAY that they “have pursued a number of investigative leads in our search for Monica.”
#BREAKING: The #FBI is offering a reward of up to $40K for information leading to the recovery of Monica de Leon Barba, a U.S. citizen who was kidnapped in Tepatitlán, Jalisco, Mexico, while walking her dog on November 29, 2022. https://t.co/grAeejsUPv pic.twitter.com/61zGCVd9gn
— FBI SanFrancisco (@FBISanFrancisco) March 30, 2023
We have reason to believe Monica is still alive, but we can’t pinpoint exactly where she is. Because of the continuing investigation, the office declined to comment further, but they did say, “We believe that Monica is alive, but we don’t know where she is located. We believe it was a targeted kidnapping, and that Monica is an innocent victim.”
The following is a list of other resources for news about California that you are free to view whenever it is convenient for you:
- 2 Charged With Kidnapping 3-week-old Baby While Pretending to Be CPS
- A 13-year-old Girl Who Was Kidnapped From Texas Was Found Alive In North Carolina
- Two Kidnapping Survivors From Mexico Are Healing In US Hospitals
The kidnapping of De Leon Barba has been “torturous” for her family, as reported by NBC Bay Area. Brother Gustavo de Leon told the media source that De Leon Barba is “kind and smart and loyal to the end.”
“And she’s a helluva lot tougher than I am,” he said. “I would very much like to have my sister back, before time runs out.” Friend and former employer Quin Boreen described the kidnapping of de Leon Barba as “shocking,” as reported by CBS San Francisco.
“I’ve read things like this in the news, but I never obviously experienced it firsthand,” Boreen said. “It’s terrifying.”
Earlier this month, four Americans were kidnapped in a violent incident in Mexico. Mexican authorities reported that two members of the group made it back to the United States while the other two were killed in a gunfight in the border city of Matamoros in the state of Tamaulipas.
The FBI is offering a reward of up to $40,000 for information leading to the recovery of an American citizen kidnapped in Mexico. https://t.co/oIXBKzTSXf
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) March 31, 2023
Due to the recent high-profile kidnappings, many people are asking travel professionals if it is still safe to visit Mexico. U.S. citizens are strongly discouraged from visiting seven Mexican states and given additional advice to avoid visiting six others.
Over 75 U.S. citizens were killed in homicides in Mexico in 2021, while nearly 29 million Americans visited the nation.
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