San Mateo, CA woman abducted last year
SAN FRANCISCO -- The FBI released new surveillance videos of the moments a California woman was kidnapped in Jalisco, Mexico.
The FBI said Monica de Leon Barba of San Mateo, California was abducted in Tepatitlán on Nov. 29, 2022.
The first video shows Barba walking home with her dog. It captured the moments before she was abducted. The FBI said the second video shows when Barba was confronted by kidnappers and forced into a gray Volkswagen Jetta.
Special Agent in charge of the FBI San Francisco field office, Robert Tripp, hopes these videos generate leads.
"The FBI has issued a $40,000 reward and we're hoping these videos jog the memory of people who may have seen the abduction, who may have seen the individuals or the vehicles before or after the abduction. Or, who more importantly, know where those people and vehicles are now," Tripp said.
The FBI said at least five suspects then drove away in three different vehicles.
Investigators describe the vehicles as a silver Volkswagen Jetta, a gray Dodge Charger and a white Chevrolet Suburban.
In the video, you can see Barba's dog, Asa, loose on the street. Her dog was located and safely recovered by a family member.
Authorities said Barba was targeted.
Her older brother, Gustavo De Leon, said, for the past five months, kidnappers have been holding his 29-year-old sister hostage for money.
"I don't know of the exact quantity of money that they're asking for but I do know that it's unattainable," De Leon said.
De Leon said his sister is still out there.
"They have also sent proof of life. They have sent a video where my sister is pleading for help, and that was a long time ago," De Leon said.
Barba was taken about 5:30 p.m. near what is described as a busy intersection just two blocks away from her home.
"There's got to be something, you know, there's no way that nobody saw anything," De Leon said.
De Leon said he's going to continue fighting for his sister's story. He reached out to the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, Ken Salazar.
"I reached out to his people; they say that, you know, it's something they discussed but not that long ago when four U.S. citizens went missing at the border in Matamoros, it was very quickly televised that Ken Salazar went down to speak with heads of state in Mexico and within days they had a resolution for that," De Leon said.
De Leon said for the first time in a while these videos have given him hope they will generate leads.
"I ask you to please help and end this nightmare that my sister has been put through for almost five months now," De Leon said.
De Leon is a U.S. citizen and had only been in Mexico since June 2022. She is 5-feet, 7-inches tall and 240 pounds and has brown hair and brown eyes.
Anyone with information about the physical location of Monica de Leon Barba should contact a local FBI office or the nearest American Embassy or Consulate. You can also submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov, or call the FBI's Toll-Free tipline at 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324).