Dallas teen missing since 2010 was mistakenly deported
by REBECCA LOPEZ, WFAA
Posted on January 3, 2012 at 10:35 PM
DALLAS – “It’s very frustrating,” Lorene Turner said.
She has spent hours on Facebook trying to find her granddaughter, Jakadrien.
“Once I get home I am up until 3 or 4 in the morning searching and looking,” Turner said. “It’s all I can think about. Finding my baby.”
Turner has been searching for Jakadrien since the fall of 2010, when she ran away from home. She was 14 years old and distraught over the loss of her grandfather and her parents’ divorce.
Turner searched for months for a clue.
“God just kept leading me,” she said. “I wake up in the middle of the night and do whatever God told me to do, and I found her.”
Turner said with the help of Dallas Police, she found her granddaughter in the most unexpected place – Colombia.
Where she had mistakenly been deported by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in April of 2011.
“They didn’t do their work,” Turner said. “How do you deport a teenager and send her to Colombia without a passport, without anything?”
News 8 learned that Jakadrien somehow ended up in Houston, where she was arrested by Houston police for theft. She gave Houston police a fake name. When police in Houston ran that name, it belonged to a 22-year-old illegal immigrant from Colombia, who had warrants for her arrest.
So ICE officials stepped in.
News 8 has learned ICE took the girl’s fingerprints, but somehow didn’t confirm her identity and deported her to Colombia, where the Colombian government gave her a work card and released her.
“She talked about how they had her working in this big house cleaning all day, and how tired she was,” Turner said.
Through her granddaughter’s Facebook messages, Turner says she tracked Jakadrian down.
U.S. Federal authorities got an address. U.S. Embassy officials in Colombia asked police to pick her up.
But that was a month ago, and the Colombian government now has her in a detention facility and won’t release her, despite her family’s request.
“I feel like she will come home,” the grandmother said with tears in her eyes. “I just need help and prayer.”
There are still many unanswered questions about how an African-American girl who speaks no Spanish is mistaken for a foreign national. Immigration officials are investigating and released a statement late Tuesday.
“ICE takes these allegations very seriously,” said ICE Director of Public Affairs Brian Hale. ” At the direction of [the Department of Homeland Security], ICE is fully and immediately investigating this matter in order to expeditiously determine the facts of this case.”
ICE officials also noted there have been instances where ICE has seen cases of individuals providing inaccurate information regarding who they are and their immigration status for ulterior motives.