Mom reconnects with her son 30 years after her ex-husband abducted him to Mexico – but he no longer speaks English
- David Amaya Barrick thought his mother had abandoned him
- Kathy Amaya has spent the last 30 years looking for her son after her husband abducted him as a toddler
- The pair have still not been reunited but did have an emotional phone call
- Raising the funds to go and see his mom in Wisconsin
A Chicago-born man kidnapped as a toddler and taken to Mexico by his father more than three decades ago is hoping to be reunited with his mother after he was was caught sneaking back across the border last month.
Mother Kathy Amaya, who lives in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, said today she has been waiting to see her son, David Amaya Barrick, 37, since learning on October 31 that border agents had picked him up but released him after they discovered he was a U.S. citizen trying to get home.
She said she has been looking for her child ever since her estranged husband abducted him and though she knew he was in Mexico, she did not have the money to hire a private investigator.
David was raised by his grandparents and does not speak any English. He had no idea his mother had been looking for him.
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Soon to be reunited: David Amaya Barrick was raised my his grandparents and does not speak any English. He had no idea his mother had been looking for him
Proof: When he was caught sneaking over the border from Mexico, immigration did not believe he was an American citizen until they later found his birth certificate
He told NBC7 through an interpreter: ‘My father told me my mother had left me abandoned and orphaned. I don’t know my mother, and I find out she’s been looking for me for 30 years, and I have the longing to meet her for the first time.’
Barrick was rounded up with a group of illegal border crossers on October 30 in a canyon about a mile from a San Diego beach, but he explained that he was born in the US and had a right to be there.
Overjoyed: David Amaya’s mother Kathy has been looking for her son for 30 years
Though they did not believe him at first, border agents later verified his story.
They then contacted Kathy Amaya to let her know that her son had turned up and wanted to return to her.
‘They told me he was beaten and robbed before he crossed the border and the thieves took his money and his cell (phone),’ Amaya said. ‘They said he seemed like a really good guy, and that he only speaks Spanish and I don’t.’
Barrick was born in Chicago in 1977 while Amaya was married to his father, but she said her spouse became abusive and the couple split when the boy was one-years-old.
After some time had passed, Amaya began letting the father visit his son and ‘then one day (the child) was just gone’, she said.
‘I reported his abduction, but when police found out he was with his dad, they weren’t worried about it.’
Amaya said the boy’s father told her that he had taken the toddler, then two years of age, to Mexico and left him there with family members.
His father and aunt took David to Mexico under a one-month permit to visit his grandparents.
However, he told NBC7 his father left him there and he has only seen him a few times in the last 30 years.
Iglesia de Cristo Ministerios Llamada Final Inc de San Diego, based in Point Loma, is providing food and shelter for David as the ministry tries to raise the funds to get him to Wisconsin so he can see his mother and half siblings.
Future: David Amaya is focusing on learning English and playing the drums so he can be a better musician, but his immediate goal is to meet his mom
Kathy Amaya told NBC7 that David has four siblings, and she’s excited to have the family reunited.
‘He just told me that he doesn’t hold anything against me,’ she added. ‘So that makes me happy.’
David finished high school in Mexico and studied music in Monterrey, Mexico. He plays drums and went on tour with a band.
He is focusing on learning English and continuing his career as a musician – as soon as he meets his mother of course