A mother has been reunited with her daughter nearly three decades after she was kidnapped from a Mexico park as a toddler.
Lorena Ramírez was in Bosque de Chapultepec, one of the largest parks in Mexico City, with her three-year-old Juana when the child suddenly vanished on 1 October 1995, Jam Press reports.
The toddler was allegedly taken in by another family who gave her a new birthday - the day she was kidnapped. She was also given a new name, Rocío.
Twenty-seven years later, and now a 30-year-old married mother of two herself, Rocío tracked down her real mother.
“Just imagine, I suffered terribly for 27 years,” an emotional Ms Ramírez said after the reunion.
The mother had taken her daughter and her two other children to the park along with her husband on the fateful day of the alleged abduction.
The adults were saying goodbye when the little girl disappeared.
“I don’t know if it was a mother’s hunch, but I knew in that moment that my daughter had just been taken from me,” Ms Ramírez said.
She said the family scoured the park for Juana and couldn’t find her. When they contacted police, they were told they had to wait 72 hours to file a report, Ms Ramírez said.
Rocío said she remembered her parents letting go of her hands for a moment before someone grabbed her by the wrist.
She then woke up in a strange house with three young boys and said she was told that they were now her brothers.
Rocío said always knew that the people who took her, who lived in Toluca, were not her real family and that she was very poorly treated by them.
When she was old enough, several neighbours told her that the couple she was living with were not her real parents.
After confronting her one day, her “mother” told her that she found her wandering around Bosque de Chapultepec alone.
Without wanting to delve into the subject, Rocío told local media: “They treated me badly.”
She said she moved out to live with her now-husband at 17 years old.
Her husband later encouraged her to look for information about lost or stolen children on the internet.
On one website, she noticed a photo of a little girl and realised she looked exactly like her own son.
Rocío explained: “There was such a strong physical resemblance I said to myself ‘I’m that girl’.”
However, as there were no contact details accompanying the photo, Rocío forgot about it and more time passed.
She said: “It took me another eight years before deciding to look for my family.”
Lorena explained: “The years began to pass and I had two other daughters.
“But every time Juana’s birthday came around, I prayed to God for her to be okay and to give me the chance to see her again.”
Rocío eventually launched an appeal on social media and included the photo of her as a young girl.
Her post was soon spotted by one of Lorena’s other daughters María José.
They began to talk on social media and soon arranged for Rocío to reunite with her long-lost mother.
After meeting up, Lorena told local media: “I couldn’t believe it.
“When I opened the door, I stopped and she walked in. That hug after 27 years...
“She saw me and said ‘you are my mother’. I replied ‘yes, and you are my daughter’.
“‘Thank you for the opportunity to see you again’.”
They then underwent a DNA test that determined they were mother and daughter with 99.99% certainty, Lorena said.
After so much time spent apart, Lorena and Rocío vowed to make the most of the time they have together now.
Lorena said: “God gave us the opportunity to be together again.”
They reunited in August 2022 and have spent the last 10 months getting to know each other.
Lorena said: “I lost a three-year-old child and found a 30-year-old woman.
“I did not experience those stages of her life, it is a part of her that was stolen from me.”
The couple who allegedly snatched Rocío were arrested by the authorities in March this year.
It is unclear when they will stand trial.
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