Abducted Children Reunited with Mother

Reported by Roxanne Lerma

JUNE 8, 2004 – There was a tearful reunion Tuesday afternoon for a
Mission mother who had been living every parent’s worst nightmare.

Police flocked to the Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge and brought
her three missing children back into the United States.

The emotional reunion was a moment, ten days in the making.

“I’m so happy,” said Diana Cordova, the children’s mother. “I don’t know
how to explain it.”

Cordova was rejoined with her three young children, only after they were
taken by force into Mexico.

Police say her estranged husband, Jose Angel Ramirez beat Cordova, then
fled with the kids. After days of negotiating, he finally agreed to drop
the children off at their grandfather’s home in Reynosa.

“He returned them because he was scared and because he didn’t want to
deal with them anymore, but it doesn’t matter,” said Cordova. “I’m so
grateful they’re back with me.”

Officers had put increasing pressure on Mexican authorities to track down
Ramirez and had circulated his picture in the Mexican media.

“This is a great day for law enforcement and for the Mission Police
Department,” said Sgt. Martin Garza. “We’re excited that we took a part
in recuperating the kids.”

Cordova says she will never be able to repay the effort authorities put
forward to return her children to her.

“I want to thank the officers. They worked so hard to help me.”

However, Sgt. Garza says their job still isn’t finished.

“We are still working in cooperation with the Ministerio Publico in
Reynosa and the Texas Rangers to try and serve the warrant on Jose Angel
Ramirez.”

If he isn’t caught soon, Cordova fears Ramirez will come after her family
again.

For now, she’s simply enjoying the little things – the kisses and hugs
from five-year-old Angel, four-year-old Rebecca and two-year-old Irving,
the children she feared she’d never see again.

This was the perfect gift for young Irving. He celebrated his second
birthday on Monday.

Meantime, two arrest warrants are still pending for Ramirez. One is for
assault and the other is for violation of a protective order.

Ramirez has been spotted in Reynosa, but relatives claim that he is
hiding out in Monterrey.

Cordova and her three children have been re-located with money from the
Crime Victim’s Compensation Fund, for their safety.

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