Long-missing man taken to Mexico as toddler reunited with U.S. mother

David Amaya and his mother Kathy Amaya listen to a service at Iglesia de Cristo Ministerios Llamada Final in San Diego, California November 24, 2013. Credit: Reuters
David Amaya and his mother Kathy Amaya listen to a service at Iglesia de Cristo Ministerios Llamada Final in San Diego, California November 24, 2013. Credit: Reuters

A Chicago-born man, who went missing three decades ago as a toddler after his father took him to Mexico, has been reunited with his U.S. mother in California after a harrowing trek back to the United States.

David Amaya Barrick, now 37, was arrested by U.S. Border Patrol agents last month but freed after convincing authorities of his U.S. citizenship – only to vanish again for several days before turning up at a San Diego church.

The mother and son finally met each other this weekend for the first time since the son went missing in 1979, to find they have the same eyes and nose, share the same laugh, and both love plaid shirts – even if they no longer have a language in common.

“We have some catching up to do,” Kathy Amaya, 60, told Reuters on Sunday through tears a day after the pair finally met face to face at the San Diego International Airport after she flew in from Wisconsin. “We’re going to do that.”

The Border Patrol said Barrick was taken from Chicago by his father in 1979 and brought to Mexico, where he was left with his paternal grandparents, speaking only Spanish. He later trained as a percussionist and moved to Monterrey, where he built a career playing in Norteno bands. He married and had two children, but the marriage didn’t work out.

Earlier this month, he illegally crossed into California from Mexico with undocumented immigrants and was arrested by the U.S. Border Patrol about a mile east of the Pacific Ocean. At first, he said he was Mexican, then remembered that his grandparents told him he was born in a Chicago hospital.

He also told the border agents he had been beaten and robbed of his money, cell phone and Mexican identification before entering the United States.

The agents checked out his story and were able to locate his birth certificate and his mother – putting the two in touch over the phone in an emotional long-distance call. Because Barrick speaks only Spanish, agents acted as translators.

“It was very emotional,” supervisory agent Troy Matthews said. “He told her he grew up being told she abandoned him and she started crying that she was afraid they told him that and how she never stopped wanting to find him.”

On Tuesday, Amaya will fly to Wisconsin with her firstborn son, where he’ll meet her four other grown children, three brothers and a sister.

“We’ll spend Thanksgiving with so much to give thanks for,” Amaya said. “It’s really overwhelming, sometimes it feels like my heart will burst.”

Both mother and son acknowledge they have much to do to rebuild their relationship, starting with finding a common language. But Amaya pointed at Barrick’s plaid shirt, and then her own, and they both laughed the same laugh.

“We are the same blood,” Amaya said. “We can figure out the rest.”

 


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels Kansas concert, condition unknown,…

Singer Miley Cyrus was hospitalized on Tuesday night after suffering what is believed to be 'a severe allergic reaction' to antibiotics medication. The 21-year-old Bangerz…

News

Explosions in new Boston Marathon bomb panic, 'twisted'…

A fresh Boston Marathon terror alert, which caused Bomb Squad officers to order an evacuation while two controlled explosions were carried out, was today being…

Local

Bomb squad detonates backpacks left at Marathon finish…

The Boston Marathon finish line has been evacuated and the Copley Square T station has been closed as police investigate a suspicious package, WBZ is reporting.

National

Reddit boosts news capabilities in social media turf…

By Jennifer SabaNEW YORK (Reuters) - Reddit, a website with a retro-'90s look and space-alien mascot that tracks everything from online news to celebrity Q&As,…

Entertainment

Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels Kansas concert, condition unknown,…

Singer Miley Cyrus was hospitalized on Tuesday night after suffering what is believed to be 'a severe allergic reaction' to antibiotics medication. The 21-year-old Bangerz…

Television

'Orphan Black's' Jordan Gavaris talks Felix's Season 2…

Jordan Gavaris plays heroically helpful foster sibling Felix to main clone Sarah on "Orphan Black." We talked to him about what’s ahead for him in…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, April 15: 'New Girl,'…

'New Girl' Nick and Jess are hiding their breakup from the other loft residents. And Winston passes the police academy exam! That guy needed some…

Television

'Orphan Black' is back with 'crazy clone shenanigans'

“Orphan Black” is the little show that could. It had a few things working against it: a sci-fi premise, attracting an audience who had never…

MLB

MLB video highlights: White Sox beat Red Sox…

Red Sox fall on walk-off error to White Sox

NBA

NBA Draft Lottery day is May 20: Celtics…

NBA Draft Lottery day is Tuesday, May 20: Celtics percentage odds for a top overall pick

MLB

Opinion: Major League Baseball replay system shouldn't be…

Opinion: Major League Baseball replay system shouldn't be dumped just yet

NHL

Bruins - Red Wings preview: David Krejci ready…

Bruins - Red Wings preview: David Krejci ready to erupt once again in playoffs

Home

Steal home decorating tips from Nattystyle blogger Natalie…

Despite the towering ceilings and enviable exposed brick, it’s easy to see how Natalie Decleve’s apartment could be considered a challenge. Perched above the streets…

Home

How to plant a garden in the city

Small on space but big on gardening? You can still have that welcoming oasis of fresh air with an urban garden. Peter Smith, owner of…

Style

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show moving to England

It will still broadcast on CBS this fall.

Tech

Google Glass finally goes on sale for regular…

The Google Glass finally went on sale for regular people. It only costs $1,500.