We love a happy ending!
A teenage girl who was abducted from her Florida home over ten years ago was reunited with her mother after connecting on social media.
According to reports, Jacqueline Hernandez and her mom Angelica Vences-Salgado got to hug for the first time in almost 14 years after the teen was intercepted by authorities at the US-Mexico border.
The heartwarming moment was captured in a photo (above) shared by the Clermont Police Department. David Pezzutti, an Assistant Special Agent in Charge with Homeland Security Investigations Orlando, said in a statement:
“A kidnapped daughter was reunited with her mother as a result of enforcement working together. This is a great example of how strong partnerships in law-enforcement can work to solve problems no matter the complexity or distance.”
Clermont officials said the now-19-year-old was abducted from her home in 2007 when she was 6. The abduction was allegedly orchestrated by her father, Pablo Hernandez, who was issued a felony warrant for kidnapping on Dec. 27, 2007.
Over a decade later, Angelica told the Clermont Police Department’s Detective Division that she’d received a message on social media from someone claiming to be her daughter. This person told Angelica she was in Mexico and wanted to meet at the Point of Entry located at the border in Laredo, Texas on September 10.
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An investigation was immediately launched by several law enforcement agencies, including the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and Homeland Security Investigations, and officials set up plans to “intercept the victim” at the border to confirm if she was really Jacqueline.
Well, that day came, and officials intercepted both Vences-Salgado and Jacqueline just before 2 p.m.. Lo and behold, they were actually able to confirm the daughter’s identity through documentation. So, yay!
Clermont Police Chief Charles Broadway said in a statement:
“This is a prime example of what can be accomplished when multiple law enforcement agencies and their respective communities work cooperatively together and maintain open lines of communication. In this case, several agencies in different counties and states across the nation were able to create a force multiplier and aid in reuniting the victim with her mother after 14 years.”
Of course, many questions about this case remain. Police have yet to reveal why the teen decided to reach out to her mother now or what her life was like over the past decade. The family is currently declining media interviews.
As for the teen’s father, Clermont Police Department Capt. Michael McMaster told NBC News there’s currently an active warrant for Pablo, and that the department is “still working with other law enforcement agencies to locate him.”
Unanswered questions aside, we’re so delighted to hear this young woman was brought home safely!
[Image via Clermont Police Department]