A California mom has been reunited with her sons who were kidnapped in 2011. Sarani Hernandez spent nearly two years negotiating with kidnappers before her 9- and 11-year-old sons were located by the FBI.
The boys, who are US citizens, were staying with their grandmother in Michoacan, Mexico. Hernandez wanted her sons to return home but feared crossing the border. Her citizen application was being processed but was not yet approved.
As reported by Mercury News, Hernandez was living in Washington state at the time. Through friends and family, she was introduced to a couple that offered to help.
Jesus Salinas and Patricia Delatorre agreed to travel to Mexico, pick up the two young boys, and transport them back to Washington.
Unfortunately, Hernandez was not reunited with her sons until nearly two years later. Hernandez eventually discovered that Salinas and Delatorre had kidnapped her sons.
Authorities report that, instead of returning to the US, the couple transported the boys to Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Hernandez eventually received a call demanding large sums of money for the return of her children.
The frightened mother reportedly sent thousands of dollars to the couple as she was in fear for her life. The couple convinced her that, if she told police, she would be deported.
Hernandez sent the couple several thousands of dollars, and her sons were still not home. She feared she had run out of options. Hernandez eventually relocated to Watsonville, California.
In Watsonville, Hernandez faced her fears and contacted the local police. The Watsonville police department immediately contacted the FBI for assistance in locating the boys.
As reported by the Huffington Post, the FBI worked with the Mexican police for months to locate the children. In December 2012, the authorities finally found the boys and rescued them from the kidnappers.
Salinas and Delatorre were arrested and charged with federal kidnapping. A third suspect, Maria Guadalupe Valenzuela Castaneda, is wanted by authorities.
The mom was finally reunited with her kidnapped sons earlier this month. Officers with the Watsonville police department state that it was an a very emotional and happy ending.