RAEFORD, N.C. (AP) — A girl who was abducted in 1999 when she was 11 was headed home Wednesday after contacting U.S. authorities in Mexico.
Hoke County authorities said Dana Pevia now has two children of her own — a 3-year-old daughter and a 3-month-old son.
Dana went to the U.S. Consulate General's office in Guadalajara last week. Consulate officials contacted the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which contacted the Hoke County sheriff's office.
"I always felt like she would come back if she could," said her grandmother, Oneda Pevia.
Warrants have been issued charging Hector Majarro Frausto, 22, with kidnapping and statutory rape. Sheriff Hubert Peterkin said Frausto was the Pevias' neighbor when Dana disappeared and used the family's telephone to call his family in Mexico.
Neither the family nor investigators know details of Dana's life in Mexico. Peterkin said Dana had been living about two hours away from Guadalajara.
Dana's mother, Wanda Pevia, last saw her daughter when she walked to her school bus stop on June 4, 1999.
"Every time I'd watch TV and they'd find a body, I would pray it wasn't her," Wanda Pevia said.
"Many times I've thought of suicide," she said through tears. "But I knew I had to be here for her when she came home."
Sheriff's officials notified the family on March 18 that Dana had been found, and Wanda Pevia said she had talked to her daughter every day since then.
"All I can remember is what she looked like when she left," she said. "Every time I dream of her or think about her, all I can think of is when she left. I can't imagine her any other way."