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Videos: US woman kidnapped in Mexico; FBI releases footage

FBI agent. (FBI/Released)
April 14, 2023

New surveillance footage has been released by the FBI showing the November kidnapping of a U.S. woman who remains missing in Mexico.

Monica de Leon Barba, 29, was kidnapped on Nov. 29 while walking home from work in Tepatitlán in the Mexican state of Jalisco, according to the FBI. On Thursday, the FBI released two videos depicting the crime and offered a $40,000 reward for information leading to her recovery.

Barba was born in Jalisco but is a United States citizen, according to her FBI missing poster.

“The FBI is requesting the public’s assistance in locating Monica and returning her safely to her family. We believe these videos may help generate new public tips to assist in our investigation,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Robert K. Tripp. “If you know anything, please come forward to law enforcement.”

One of the videos shows the kidnappers’ vehicles maneuvering before the kidnapping. With the view partially blocked by trees, the video shows Barba being confronted by multiple suspects and forced into a gray Volkswagen Jetta, according to the FBI.

READ MORE: 2 US citizens found dead in Mexico after violent kidnapping

The video shows Barba’s dog left loose in the street. The dog was later recovered by a family member, according to the FBI.

The second video shows Barba walking home from work with her dog and three vehicles driven by kidnappers passing by her before the kidnapping, according to the FBI.

A reward of up to $40,000 is being offered for information leading to Barba’s recovery, according to the FBI.

READ MORE: US citizen mom of 7 kidnapped in Mexico; FBI offering reward

The three vehicles involved in the kidnapping were a silver Volkswagen Jetta, a gray Dodge Charger, and a white Chevrolet Suburban, according to the FBI.

The videos indicate five suspects, according to the FBI. They are described as follows:

  • A male in dark clothing
  • A male in white shirt and jeans
  • A male in dark clothing in the backseat of the white Suburban
  • A male in a dark shirt believed to be the driver of the gray Charger
  • Another suspect, not shown in video, believed to be driving the white Suburban

The U.S. State Department advises that people “reconsider travel to” the Mexican state of Jalisco due to the risk of crime and kidnapping, according to its website.