Texas girl taken by mom 12 years ago rescued in Mexico

Posted on October 7, 2014. Filed under: Child Abduction | Tags: , |

Sabrina Allen, who was abducted in 2002 in Texas at age 4 by her mother, has been rescued near Mexico City and returned to the United States, the FBI said Wednesday.

Sabrina, now 17, was found Tuesday and her 44-year-old mother, Dara Llorens, was arrested during a stealth operation conducted by the Mexican Federal Authority, FBI and U.S. Marshals in Estafeta Tlaxcala, about 60 miles southeast of Mexico City.

Sabrina was undergoing medical evaluation at an undisclosed location and was not immediately reunited with her father, Greg Allen, who has been remarried for 10 years and has young children with his new wife.

“She doesn’t want to see me, she doesn’t want to see any of my family, so we are respecting those wishes,” he told reporters at a news conference in Austin. He said his ex-wife had manipulated their daughter and turned her against him.

Sabrina’s return marked the emotional end of a 12-year disappearance after Llorens allegedly defied a court-approved custody agreement and fled the country during an outing with her daughter.

“You know I’ve spent a lot of time traveling in Mexico and had a lot of help (from Mexican authorities); what happened is, we got lucky,” Allen said. “She’s home.”

“I understand she’s been subjected to intense parental alienation,” he added. “We have a long road ahead of us.”

He said that she was receiving mental health counseling and that “we really don’t have a timetable” for when they would be reunited.

When they are, “I’m going to ask her if I can give her a hug,” he said tearfully. “She’s in pretty bad shape is my understanding. I just pray for healing.”

“We’re eager to have her home as soon as possible, and will slowly introduce her to family members and do what we can,” he added.

Llorens was wanted on a federal warrant on charges of aggravated kidnapping, interference with child custody, and unlawful flight to avoid prosecution. She was booked into Travis County Jail on charges of “intentionally and knowingly abducting the child by restraining her so as to interfere substantially with her liberty, by moving her from one place to another.” Bond was set at $300,000.

Llorens had been under surveillance for about two weeks by an informant working for investigators, according to Philip Klein, with KIC Investigations.

The pair was spotted once in Mexico in 2003 but eluded capture. Both apparently had dyed their hair and were using false names.

Authorities in the joint task force in Mexico moved in at 11:32 a.m. Tuesday. One Mexican federal officer sustained a minor injury during a struggle with Llorens, according to Klein.

The FBI said it had pursued hundreds of tips and leads over the years worldwide and that Llorens had narrowly avoided capture more than once by assuming new identities and moving frequently.

“Whether it’s 12 years, one month or two years, we don’t quit and we won’t stop,” FBI Agent Dan Powers told reporters.

Sabrina had been listed as missing by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Llorens had disappeared to Mexico with the girl at the end of a six-month period of court-supervised visitation, according to the website FindSabrina.org.

The FBI said that on April 19, 2002, Llorens took her daughter for a scheduled weekend visit under the custody agreement. She failed to return Sabrina to Allen, her primary guardian, by 6 p.m. on April 21.

Allen told KVUE-TV that his former wife had threatened to take Sabrina away before they vanished. The case was featured twice on America’s Most Wanted.

Contributing: KVUE-TV in Austin

Follow Doug Stanglin on Twitter: @dstanglin

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