California woman returned after 8 months kidnapped in Mexico is ‘doing good’: family

After being released by her captors, a woman from California who was kidnapped for eight months in Mexico was finally picked up from a gas station in the state of Jalisco, revealing the tense family negotiations that followed.

After her distressing experience, the father of Monica De Leon Barba affirmed that his daughter is “doing well” to The Post on Monday but mentioned that it will require a significant amount of time to adapt.

Gustavo De Leon, Sr. Expressed, “We are grateful to God for her return and her efforts to resume a normal life as best as she can.” Currently, she has no interest in discussing that matter. The only remark we can make is.

Barba arrived in California on Friday with her brother, Gustavo Jr., After the 30-year-old had contacted her family from the gas station upon being discharged.

Asa’s dog Barba was kidnapped in November while they were walking in Jalisco, a state on the ‘reconsider travel’ list by the state department due to high crime rates and frequent kidnappings.

“Unidentified groups,” Mexican officials, and the FBI all participated in the collaborative endeavor to ensure the secure repatriation of his daughter, however, her father was unable to provide extensive information regarding the incident.

The father, feeling relieved, said, “They asked somebody to let her use the phone so she could call us, and she was released in the middle of nowhere.”

California woman Monica De Leon Barba is back in the United States after being kidnapped in Mexico for eight months.
California woman Monica De Leon Barba is back in the United States after being kidnapped in Mexico for eight months.
Courtesy of the De Leon Barba Family

According to Gustavo Sr., His son was already in Mexico during that time, desperately staying updated with the investigation and looking for his sister.

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Both siblings flew back to the bay area around San Francisco in Northern California together for a tearful reunion with their parents.

My wife has once again become my singing partner. I felt complete again. It was a silent and heartfelt hug that we exchanged. Both of us were crying. Sr. Gustavo approached me and said,”

Barba is "doing good" after returning home, her father Gustavo De Leon, Sr. told The Post.
Barba is “doing good” after returning home, her father Gustavo De Leon, Sr. told The Post.
Help Find Monica/Facebook

The loving father mentioned that his daughter has thus far declined to receive therapy services provided by the FBI.

Even though she loved her ones, she has yet to fully disclose the details of what she endured during the eight months she was held captive.

“She knows all of her options, but right now she doesn’t want therapy. She said, ‘She just wants to see her friends and looks good, and she doesn’t want us to force anything on her. She can have whatever she needs or wants.'”

The Federal Bureau of Investigation provided a $40,000 incentive for any information that would lead to the discovery of Barba’s location.

Her family and friends also initiated a social media crusade requesting anyone who may possess information to step forward.

The FBI released a chilling video of Barba, in which she jumped out of the vehicle before her captors forced her into one of the vehicles and sped away. The video also showed her walking her dog, passing three cars before her.

Surveillance footage of Barba before she was kidnapped in Jalisco in November.
Surveillance footage of Barba before she was kidnapped in Jalisco in November.
fbi.gov

Barba’s dog, who eventually was able to reach her family, was recovered by a stranger and given back to them.

FBI officials in April said they believed Barba was being held hostage and her kidnappers had been in touch with the family.

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FBI Special Agent in Charge Robert Tripp informed FOX 2 San Francisco that the incident was “a deliberate abduction.”

Tripp stated on Saturday, “Although the FBI investigation is still ongoing, we can proceed with this case with the reassurance that an innocent victim has been reunited with her family.”

The FBI believes Barba was being held hostage.
The FBI believes Barba was being held hostage.
Help Find Monica/Facebook

Our joy and relief at Monica’s safe return are profound. For the past eight months, FBI personnel have tirelessly worked in Mexico and California, partnering with our family and colleagues here.

The abduction has not led to any apprehensions or accusations thus far. Barba and her sibling returned to California, where FBI officials were present at the airport.

Sr. Gustavo said that he was overwhelmed with the amount of support his family has received over the past months. Now, their focus is on the recovery of his daughter.

The father, feeling relieved, expressed, “She is content in the company of [Asa] and she appears to be in good spirits.” “In my eyes, she will forever remain a three-year-old, regardless of her actual age.”

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