GUANAJUATO, Mexico — A 14-year-old Mexican girl who was taken by authorities and sent screaming to live in the United States was returned home Wednesday after DNA tests showed she is not the daughter of the Houston woman who claimed her.
The case of Alondra Luna Nunez drew international attention after a video of the distraught girl being forced into a police vehicle last week circulated.
The Foreign Ministry said Mexican officials were carrying out a court order to send Alondra to Dorotea Garcia, a Houston woman who claimed the girl was her daughter who had been illegally taken to Mexico by her father years ago. Alondra's family insisted authorities were mistaken but their pleas were ignored.
"At first I was very upset because I had never been so far away from my parents," Alondra told The Associated Press at an evening barbecue in Guanajuato, where two dozen family members celebrated her return. But she said she was optimistic the mistake would be remedied. "So after a while I calmed down a bit."
Mexican agents assigned to Interpol took Alondra from her middle school on April 16 and transported her to a courtroom, according to a statement from the federal Attorney General's Office. In court, Alondra's parents and Garcia each presented birth certificates and gave testimony, then the judge ruled in favor of Garcia, ordering the girl into her custody, according to the court in Michoacan.
Alondra and Garcia went by bus to Houston, with the birth certificate of Garcia's daughter and the court order, according to the Foreign Ministry which later intervened to request a DNA test. Many things remained unclear, including who called Interpol from the U.S.
State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said U.S. officials had encouraged "timely processing of this case through appropriate government channels." It was not clear what further action, if any, the department might take on the matter.