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Missing Toddler Found Alive 30 Years After Abduction [Video]

Mother finds son 30 years after abduction

A missing toddler was found alive more than 30 years after his abduction. Kathy Amaya said her 2-year-old son vanished during a scheduled visitation with his father. Thirty-five years later, the Border Patrol in San Diego contacted Kathy about her missing son.

David Amaya is now 37-years-old. He was raised by his grandparents in Mexico and had no idea he was abducted. Although David knew he was American, he was told that his mother left him “abandoned and orphaned.” He said his father dropped him off with his grandparents and rarely came back to visit.

At the end of October, David attempted to return to the United States. He was stopped at the border, as authorities questioned his citizenship. He was detained for two days while the border patrol agents verified his identity.

As reported by NBC San Diego, the authorities eventually obtained a copy of David Amaya’s birth certificate, which listed his mother’s name. They contacted her immediately.

Kathy was stunned. She said she never gave up hope, but she did not expect to see her missing toddler again. At the time of the abduction, authorities refused to look into the case, as he was taken by this father. She was told that there was nothing she could do but wait.

More than three decades later, David is back in the United States. Kathy spoke with her son on the telephone, but they have not reunited in person. According to the Huffington Post, David is currently trying to raise funds to travel to Milwaukee, where his mother resides. He is also trying to learn English so they can communicate without a translator.

David Amaya is currently receiving shelter and food from the Iglesia de Cristo Ministerios Llamada Final Inc. The ministry is also helping him raise the money to reunite with his mother. The San Diego border patrol is also accepting donations for the cause.

Kathy said she never stopped looking for her missing toddler, and she is thrilled that she will finally get to see him again.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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44 Responses to “Missing Toddler Found Alive 30 Years After Abduction [Video]”

  1. Elke Kolodinski

    he was taken by his father, but she never thought to look at his grandparents house? that seems odd. i hope they can reunite and make up for lost time.

  2. Peg Willen

    She lacked funds to fly to Mexico. That is where the grandparents lived and maybe she did not know where in Mexico they lived…

  3. Richard Robbins

    Mother must not have any common sence or backbone to actually go to mexico n look for her kid. If it was mine i would look in the depths of hell for mine. Would be a life mission!

  4. Karen Hotchkiss

    Peg Willen if it was my child i would have walked, hitchhiked, lied, cheated, and stolen to get to him. there is not a damn thing other than death that would keep me from my child

  5. Andrea Beanato

    Karen Hotchkiss actions, you speak words, you do not know what that mother went through.

  6. Debbie Varney Pratt

    did you ever stop to think she didn't know he was there? really? not that you're being judgmental or anything.

  7. Debbie Varney Pratt

    I agree! I'm reading all these statements by those who don't know. we just don't know.

  8. Nazar Khan

    Debbie Varney Pratt She said in the video that his father told her that he had took the kid to Mexico. She knew he was there.

  9. Rob Wilbert

    And do what exactly? Kidnap him back? Did you miss the part of the article where it stated: "She said she never gave up hope, but she did not expect to see her missing toddler again. At the time of the abduction, authorities refused to look into the case, as he was taken by this father. She was told that there was nothing she could do but wait."

  10. Mary Hollingsworth- Lowe

    All the judgement is unnecessary, why can't we just be happy about this? How about this young man, well, ok, not so young man, but, this man is wanting to learn his mom's language so he can speak to her directly?? How beautiful is that? GOD BLESS THEM! *To the judgmental ones, it doesn't matter whether she went to Mexico or not. Had she tried to bring him back here – she'd have been thrown in jail and possible killed. The fact is, all we know is this little bit of the story. So, until you know all of it – leave the judging to whom it belongs.*

  11. Amber Wallace Bice

    Thanks for what you said. So many are so quick to judge. There is only one that has the right to judge and that is God!!! I am sure this mom did everything in her power to find her son. Thank you Jesus for bringing these to souls back together, even if it is only by phone right now!!

  12. Jennifer Brown

    why can't the mom get the guy a bus ticket or plane or whatever? I was hoping to see that he was reunited with her, instead some church is taking care of him? weird.

  13. Xavier Cabrera

    Mexico is kind of a big place. If she didn't know the exact location. It would be next to impossible. Plus the authorities wouldn't help her.

  14. Kay Houser

    I pray they get together soon,this is so tragic and it happens over and over,this mother has been through hell and back missing her baby,all of these people,father,and his parents should be held responsible for this abduction.

  15. Wilda Kerney

    Rob Wilbert AND we don't know what her financial situation is, if she cannot afford to go to San Diego to see her son now, what makes us think that 30 yrs ago she could go to Mexico to look for him?

  16. Maxine Akerson Squillace

    Do you know how big Mexico is?……Ever been to Mexico? It's a lot different than the U.S. Good luck trying to find someone. Father should be prosecuted for kidnapping an American citizen. Pray for this young man and his family to be able to heal and recover from this!

  17. Melia Martinez

    My thoughts exactly! But maybe she is on ssi or state assistance and can't? I would think an airline could cough up a couch seat for the poor guy!

  18. Sandra Campbell

    Rob Wilbert I believe this lady doesn't speak Spanish, so, even if she went to Mexico…… she wouldn't have known where to begin to look nor how to communicate with anyone to find information. I think we should all just be happy that they have made a connection.

  19. Daisy Fung

    Ebony Pennybaker it's kidnapping if the mother has full custody of the child and the father just takes him away without letting the mother know beforehand.

  20. Daisy Fung

    he was told that his mother left him “abandoned and orphaned.” …his father dropped him off with his grandparents and rarely came back to visit. why take a child away from a mother and just leaves him with relatives?

  21. Ebony Pennybaker

    Daisy Fung Your right IF she had full custody. "Kathy Amaya said her 2-year-old son vanished during a scheduled visitation with his father." Which she didnt.

  22. Daisy Fung

    maybe she doesn't know where in Mexico. how many people in Mexico can speak and understand English? Does the mother herself understands Spanish? also, how many people still have contact with their ex's family?

  23. Elke Kolodinski

    it's true, perhaps she lacked funds or had some other thing that prevented her from searching thoroughly. all i said was it seemed odd, knowing that this very short news story only includes the few facts the writer decided to include. i also said i hoped they could make up for lost time. don't need to be indignant about my judging her when i didn't.

  24. Daisy Fung

    Ebony Pennybaker during a shared custody, either parents must inform the other and get permission before taking the child away to another country and not planning to return. isn't it still considered kidnapping if the other parent didn't agree. the father took the son to Mexico first without the mother's knowledge beforehand. did he inform her before or after she went to the police; did he change all his contact info. where she couldn't reach him afterward? I'd think it's still considered kidnapping.

  25. Rob Wilbert

    Sandra Campbell Thats also a valid point that has been overlooked…some folks here have been quick to judge but its clear there were circumstances that wouldn't have allowed he to just march into Mexico and get her son back.

  26. Susan Harris Sarkies

    So why did the FBI not get involved? Are they not supposed to join in when a parent takes a minor across state lines?

  27. Sukuyan Fallen

    Ebony Pennybaker Technically you are right, though it is called something completely different when it is a case of biological family taking a child without informing the custodial parent. Even if they had shared custody, his mother had primary custody as he was going for scheduled visitation with the father. (I am inferring this from the information provided by the article.) In cases of family members abducting a child it is called Custodial Interference. Depending on the state it might be called something similar but slightly different. I only know all this because I was a child of separated parents and my mom had primary custody and my dad was allowed visitation during set times. Then not to long ago I dealt with a family member taking my children without consent to a location I was not aware of. When I spoke to local police I was informed that when family kidnaps a child it is called custodial interference.

  28. Michelle Zahrte


  29. Sharon McKeeman Himes

    I agree Mary and some people just will never have compassion or empathy for others.

  30. Daisy Fung

    Sukuyan Fallen thank you for the insight, I learned something new. sorry that you had to deal with something similar.

  31. Shane Carraway

    Same thing happened to me back in 2002. Wife hauled azz and I just found my children after 11 years. When a person dont want to be found, they wont be. I have spent over 25grand over the years hiring private investigators to try and track down my 3 boys. It is tough now, as my youngest was only 2 when it happened and dont know me..

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