DA Child Abduction Unit Recovers Autistic Boy from Mexico


October 26, 2012

Source: scoopsandiego.com

San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie M. Dumanis announced today that her office’s Child Abduction Unit successfully located a 7-year-old autistic boy in Mexico and reunited him with his mother in San Diego.

An arrest warrant has been issued for 37-year-old Julio Rocha, who in 2007 took his then 2-year-old son, Keoni Rocha, to Mexico after the boy’s mother requested full custody. Julio Rocha has been charged with one felony count of child abduction.

“Locating missing children and returning them home to San Diego isn’t easy within the United States, let alone across an international border,” DA Dumanis said. “The dedicated investigators in our Child Abduction Unit routinely overcome difficulties in dealing with foreign governments to recover children from around the world.”

The DA’s Child Abduction Unit is contacted when a child is taken form his or her parent or rightful guardian in violation of that person’s right to custody. Investigators in the unit work with Mexico and other countries to track down children and get them home safely.

In this case, a young woman doing online research for a school project in Mexico came across a poster from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children with information about Keoni Rocha and his father. The girl recognized the boy as a neighbor and contacted authorities.

Thanks to help from the neighbor, District Attorney Investigators were able to negotiate a voluntary return of Keoni Rocha’s with his grandparents at the Mexico City airport last week.

“It was the most heart-wrenching return I have ever seen,” said DA Investigator Carole Snyder who works in the Child Abduction Unit. “The grandmother and the aunt knew this would be the last time they saw Keoni. The boy’s mother, Leilani Masumoto, who had not seen her son in five years, bonded like they were meant to be as soon as they were reunited at the airport.”

Last year, the DA’s Child Abduction Unit conducted 150 investigations and recovered 75 abducted children from around the U.S. In addition, the unit worked 30 cases involving children being abducted from, or taken to other countries, including, Mexico, Germany, Argentina, Columbia, and Dominica. In 2011, the Child Abduction Unit’s ‘Visitation Reporting System’ which is accessible via the DA’s website, logged 2,096 violations.

“Over the years, we’ve successfully located children and returned them from several countries including France, the Philippines, Sweden, Germany and Mexico,” DA Dumanis said. “Given San Diego’s location, a number of child abductions involve children who are taken across the border to Mexico.”

The DA’s Child Abduction Unit assists parents in both countries. The number of cross-border cases involving Mexico handled by the DA’s Office has grown from 10 cases in 2006, to 21 cases in 2011. So far this year, the unit has opened 15 such cases. The District Attorney’s Office Child Abduction unit is only involved when a parent or other family member abducts a child involving a violation of Family Court, Juvenile Court and/or Probate Court orders.

If anyone has information on the whereabouts of Julio Rocha, who is believed to be living in the United States, please call 619-531-4345

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New Images Released Of British Girl Allegedly Abducted By Mother


It’s been two years since six-year-old Pearl Rose Gavaghan Da Massa was taken from her home in Manchester, England. Authorities say the girl and her mother are living in Toronto with different names and released new images of the youngster Wednesday.

Police allege the child’s mother, 33-year-old Helen Gavaghan, abducted Pearl from their home in Manchester. The pair has been spotted in Parkdale and there’s concern about the youngster’s health and well-being.

Helen Gavaghan and the child’s father, Hollywood Henry Da Massa, also of Manchester, share custody of Pearl. The mother is the subject of a UK arrest and extradition warrant.

Authorities claim Gavaghan unlawfully took her daughter out of England in December 2008 and travelled to Mexico. From there, the pair moved on to Texas, eventually ending up in Toronto in January 2009.

Police also claim the woman operated an unofficial home child care service in Riverdale with an unknown partner. The mother and child also lived at “an alternative community” in Parkdale for about a year, police said, under the names Dana and Belle Flaherty.

In September 2009 a health care worker offered new information in the case and raised concern about the girl, claiming she showed signs of trauma and social isolation. Pearl was in need of medical attention at the time of her alleged abduction from England.

Helen Gavaghan is described as:

-White,
-5’5”, with a very slim build
-Green/brown eyes
-Long black hair which may now be dyed or cut short
-She has a prominent angular nose and wide ears

Pearl is described as:

-3’7” or taller, with a normal build
-Green/brown eyes
-Last seen with light brown, shoulder-length hair

If you have any information on the pair’s whereabouts, call Crime Stoppers at (416) 222-TIPS or Child Find Ontario at 1-800-387-7962 quoting reference 5625-P.

Published by: ABP World Group International Child Recovery Service

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