A woman whose son was abducted by her estranged husband and taken to Mexico three decades ago recently learned her son is back in the U.S.
Kathy Amaya told NBC 7 San Diego that she hasn’t seen her son David since he was just a toddler. Her husband at the time took the boy to Mexico.
She says she's been looking for the child, who she tried to report missing, ever since.
David Amaya was raised by his grandparents in Mexico and doesn’t speak English.
His father told David he was American, but didn't tell him he was taken from the country without his mom's permission. David said via an interpreter:
“My father told me my mother had left me abandoned and orphaned.”
“I don’t know my mother, and now I find out she’s been looking for me for 30 years, and I have the longing to meet her for the first time."
David's father and aunt reportely took him to Mexico under a one-month permit to visit his grandparents. However, he said his father left him there.
He only visited handful of times over the last three decades.
On October 30, David tried crossing the U.S./Mexico border without documents. U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents detained him for two days.
“They did not believe me that I was an American,” David said.
Border Patrol agents say they actually did, which led them to investigate and find a birth certificate showing the 37-year-old was born in Chicago in 1976.
That's when Kathy got a call from Border Patrol in San Diego.
"They told me that they had someone detained that was crossing the border and he said his name was David Amaya," she said. "I wasn't sure if it was him."
"We did some research and found out it was."
A San Diego ministry is providing food and shelter for David as the ministry tries to raise the funds to get him to Wisconsin to he can see his family.
The ministry’s pastor arranged a call between David and his mother. Even though the two don’t speak the same language, the reunion was emotional.
"He just told me that he doesn't hold anything against me," said Kathy, who has four other kids in addition to David. "So that makes me happy."