FRESNO, TEXAS—The joyful tears shed by a Texas woman and her long-missing daughter after they returned to Houston from Mexico on Saturday signalled the end of an eight-year cross-border custody case that had mistakenly sent another girl to the U.S. against her will.
Houston resident Dorotea Garcia and 13-year-old Alondra Diaz arrived at Bush Intercontinental Airport on Saturday morning after a judge in the Mexican state of Michoacan on Friday returned the girl to Garcia following DNA tests that showed they are mother and daughter.
An emotional Garcia told reporters later Saturday that the return of her daughter was a beautiful moment.
“What I had been wishing for so many years. Finally I can touch her. She is with me and I am grateful to God,” Garcia said in Spanish as she stood in front of her suburban Houston home and embraced her daughter.
Diaz, a native-born U.S. citizen, was taken to Mexico in 2007 by her father, Reynaldo Diaz, without her mother’s consent after the couple divorced. Alondra Diaz’s whereabouts hadn’t been known until recently.
The case gained attention last month after a judge in Mexico erroneously ruled that 14-year-old Alondra Luna was the missing girl and ordered her turned over to Garcia, who brought the girl to Houston. DNA testing later showed she wasn’t Garcia’s daughter and she was returned to her real family in Guanajuato.
Upon her return to her mother’s home, Diaz was greeted by balloons and signs on the garage door that said in…