​Mother Meets Son David Amaya After 34 Years​​

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November 25, 2021


 David Amaya, Missing

David Amaya reunites with mother Kathy after 34 years.

David Amaya, who went missing in 1979 when his father abducted him and took him to Mexico, was reunited with his long-lost mother Kathy Amaya this weekend. “I’m all happy and I don’t want to let him go,” his mother told NBC 7 San Diego.

The two embraced at San Diego International Airport for the first time since Amaya was a toddler, flanked by throngs of media.

“I love you and I missed you a lot. I welcome you into my life,” Amaya told his mother, according to WPTV5.

The two have already begun attempting to make up for lost time. They spent the weekend getting to know each other and the two will fly to Wisconsin on Tuesday for what will be an emotional Thanksgiving together. Amaya has a whole extended family anxious to meet him.

“He has a grandmother. He has an aunt and uncle; lots and lots of cousins,” Kathy Amaya told NBC7.

The tearful reunion was almost 35 years in the making for the Amaya family.

The boy was was snatched by his father and taken to Mexico, where he was left with his grand parents. He was told by his father that his mother abandoned him.

“My dad told me that my mom had abandoned me at an orphanage center because she didn’t love me,” David Amaya told CNN through a translator. “He dropped me off with my grandparents and went back to Chicago. He almost never spent time with me.”

He tried to cross back into the U.S. on Oct. 30 but border patrol didn’t believe that he was born in Chicago and detained him for two days with several undocumented immigrants, he said at the time.

Customs officials were able to verify that Amaya — who was beaten and robbed during his expedition — was born in America and phoned his mother so the two could finally speak, according to reports.

“It was very emotional,” supervisory agent Troy Matthews told Reuters. “He told her he grew up being told she abandoned him and she started crying that she was afraid they told him that and how she never stopped wanting to find him.”

On Tuesday, the Amayas will fly back to Wisconsin. A good samaritan, Frank Tsimboukaikis, paid for his ticket after hearing reports of his incredible story, CNN reported.
Kathy Amaya said after reuniting with her long-lost son, the holiday takes on even greater meaning this year.