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American Woman 'Targeted' in Mexico Kidnapping Freed After 8 Months

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A California woman who was kidnapped in Mexico last November is now free.

Monica de Leon Barba was freed Friday, the FBI said, according to ABC.

De Leon Barba has been walking her dog in Tepatitlán, Jalisco, Mexico, when she was abducted.

De Leon’s cousin, Gael De Leon, who had been kidnapped in a separate incident, was also freed on Friday.

The FBI did not provide any details on the release of the two women.

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“For the past eight months, FBI personnel in California and Mexico have worked tirelessly with the family and with partners in Mexico. Our relief and joy at the safe return of Monica is profound,” said Special Agent Robert Tripp of the FBI San Francisco Office, according to the Independent.

“The FBI investigation is far from over, but we can now work this case knowing an innocent victim is reunited with her family,” Tripp said, noting that no arrests were made.

De Leon Barba’s case was a “targeted kidnapping,” according to Tripp, who said her family was tapped for ransom.

Gustavo de Leon, de Leon Barba’s brother, posted a picture of him with his sister on Facebook.

“For the first time in a very long time we have good news! I need to thank every single person that helped my family and I [through] this entire ordeal. We can all finally close this chapter in our lives and work on the long road of healing we have ahead,” he wrote.

In April, the FBI released a video of de Leon Barba’s abduction. The dog she was walking was later found and given to the victim’s family.

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The FBI had offered a reward of up to $40,000 for information that would help find and free de Leon Barba.

The State Department has issued a travel warning for Jalisco state, where de Leon Barba was taken.

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“Reconsider travel due to crime and kidnapping,” the warning said.

“Violent crime and gang activity are common in parts of Jalisco state. In Guadalajara, territorial battles between criminal groups take place in tourist areas. Shooting incidents between criminal groups have injured or killed innocent bystanders. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping,” the warning said, using the acronym “LPRs” for “lawful permanent residents.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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