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Wed, Oct. 16

Missing Chino Valley juveniles are safe, but still in Mexico

PRESCOTT - Two weeks after Nadia Chavez's former boyfriend took her and their 2-month-old baby involuntarily into Mexico, the 16-year-old Chino Valley resident escaped from a San Luis house on Monday and went to a convenience store to seek help.

Chavez asked a clerk to call her mother in Chino Valley and tell her where she was while she went back to the house to get her child, Chino Valley Police detective Vince Schaan said on Wednesday.

"She went back to get the baby while the clerk was calling for help," Schaan said. "Her mom relayed the information to us and we got in touch with the FBI and the U.S. Marshal's Office and the U.S. Consulate and they were able to organize with the Mexican police to locate her and the baby."

He said that the clerk saw bruises on Chavez she apparently suffered during a physical assault, but she and her child appear to be in good condition.

"The baby is fine and hasn't been hurt in any way," he said.

They are staying in a safe home in Mexico while waiting to return to Chino Valley, where Nadia's immediate family lives.

Because Nadia is an illegal resident and her daughter is a U.S. citizen, the two countries have to work out the immigration requirements before they can return, Schaan said.

Schaan said the Chino Valley Police Department still has a warrant for the arrest of Daniel Chavez for interfering with custodial rights. The 18-year-old Mexican national could face other charges related to kidnapping the two juveniles if he returns to the U.S., Schaan said.

Police have been looking for the minors since May 31 when Nadia called a friend and her mother to tell them they were with Daniel Chavez and that she was scared and didn't know where she was. One of the phone calls came from a number in Tijuana, Mexico. Schaan said Daniel Chavez took the juveniles across the border on June 1, and that Nadia used a cell phone to make that call.

They had been staying, in a San Luis home that belongs to Daniel Chavez's aunt, Schaan said. San Luis is a border town andChavez wouldn't have problems crossing into the Mexican side of the town, Schaan said.

The police believe other people helped Daniel Chavez leave the country.

"We are looking in charging others for assisting him," Schaan said.

Chino Valley Police Sgt. Mark Garcia said previously that Nadia and Daniel were dating when she got pregnant with their child. Although he lived in Paulden, they didn't maintain their relationship. The police do not know how and where they met before her family reported the minors missing, Garcia said.

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