An 11-year-old girl from Burbank who was allegedly abducted by her mother and taken to Mexico eight years ago has been found, police announced Friday.
In 2005, the mother – identified by police as Gabriela Barrett, 53 – took her then-3-year-old daughter to Mexico to "protect her from her allegedly verbally abusive father," said Burbank Police Officer Joshua Kendrick.
Police later determined the accusations against the father to be inconclusive, Kendrick added.
At the time, the family had no idea Barrett planned to flee with her daughter, Kendrick said. Police suspected the pair settled in Tijuana, but were unable to locate them, even with the help of Mexican authorities.
Burbank Police Det. Dave Kleinfeld "never gave up searching" for the child, and recently located Barrett's adult son, who put him in touch with his mother, Kendrick said.
After Barrett agreed to return to the United States, police made arrangements with U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials for Barrett to surrender at the border.
Burbank police met border officials in San Ysidro, where they arrested Barrett on suspicion of maliciously concealing a child from a lawful custodian, Kendrick said.
The girl was released to a family member.