FBI salutes Mexico for finding girl

By Anna Cearley
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER

September 30, 2005

TIJUANA – FBI agents from San Diego formally thanked eight Baja
California law enforcement officials and psychologists yesterday for
their assistance in the recovery in July of an abducted Nevada girl.

“The FBI is very appreciative of the assistance extended . . . concerning
this successful, binational investigation,” said Kathy Leodler,assistant
special agent in charge of the FBI office.

A week after the 8-year-old-girl’s abduction, Mexican authorities found
her at an Ensenada shelter with her suspected abductor, Fernando Aguerro,
a convicted child molester. The child had been sexually abused in the
United States and in Mexico, according to Mexican authorities. Aguerro
will be tried first in Mexico, where he faces up to 38 years in prison.

At yesterday’s news conference in Tijuana, Leodler shook hands and kissed
Mexican officials on the cheek – as is customary here at such events – as
she gave out the certificates.

“Many criminals feel that by just crossing the border they will get away
with these crimes, but that is not always the case,” she said.

Baja California’s attorney general, Antonio MartÍnez Luna, who received a
certificate, said he and his staff were just doing their jobs, but
admitted “it feels good to get a pat on the back.”

Leodler said the case is one of less than 10 cross-border abductions of
adults and children over the past year. This case prompted Amber Alerts
in California and Nevada and widespread postings of the pair’s photos in
Baja California.

MartÍnez Luna said he was glad his office could help reunite the child
with her mother. “From all of us in Baja California, we send a hug and
kiss,” he said.

© Copyright 2005 Union-Tribune Publishing Co.

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