Sabrina Allen, the young Texas girl who was kidnapped by her mother, has been returned home after a 12-year search. Allen was kidnapped in 2002 by her mother, Dara Llorens, a well-documented unstable and mentally-ill individual who did not have primary care of her daughter. Legally, she was a “non-custodial” parent, and was allowed visitation rights. During one of these visits, Llorens disappeared with Sabrina.

Kidnapping Victim Sabrina Allen Returns Home

Over the years the case had many starts and stops. The story was covered by the America’s Most Wanted, hundreds of leads took the FBI around the world searching for the pair. Despite some near misses, Llorens remained on the lam. In 2003, she was seen in Mexico with Sabrina, though they managed to evade capture; Allen meanwhile took many trips down to Mexico, making friends and allies.

Recently, Mexican officials worked with a team from private investigator Philip Klein’s office to locate Allen and Llorens on Tuesday morning at a small apartment in Tlaxcala, two and a half hours from Mexico City. Llorens and her daughter had been living under a variety of assumed names and identities. Llorens is said to have manipulated their daughter and turned her against him. Llorens allegedly told her daughter over this 12-year span that her father was an abusive, violent child molester and a dangerous man.

“She doesn’t want to see me, she doesn’t want to see any of my family, so we are respecting those wishes,” Allen said in a statement. “She’s in pretty bad shape as far as my understanding, she was not living a regular life. She has not been going to school.”

Though Allen has young children with his new wife, he never gave up hope in finding his lost daughter. He had set up websites, kept up with the FBI, and tracked down leads of his own. Sabrina’s recovery has not been given a timetable, nor has a reunion between father and daughter been scheduled. Allen has stated that he’s just happy she’s safe, and is willing to wait as long as it takes until she is ready to see him.

“I’m going to ask her if I can give her a hug,” he said tearfully.

Llorens remains in custody, awaiting a slew of charges.