Federal and local authorities have reunited a Georgia father with his young daughter two years after the girl’s mother and the mother’s boyfriend allegedly abducted her and fled to Mexico.
In a statement Tuesday, the U.S. Marshals Service announced that – with assistance from the Smyrna Police Department and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children – they have rescued an international missing child and “facilitated the arrest of her kidnappers.”
“The child has been returned to the U.S. and reunited with her custodial parent. The kidnappers are currently in custody, awaiting justice,” the statement said.
In April 2021 in Smyrna, Cobb County, Georgia, the then-4-year-old girl was abducted by her non-custodial biological mother, Andrea McCord, the U.S. Marshals Service said.
James Williams embraces his now 6-year-old daughter at an Atlanta airport Sunday two years after the girl was abducted and taken to Mexico. (Smyrna Police Department)
According to Williams, his estranged wife, McCord, was living elsewhere and visiting their daughter at his home in Smyrna.
Williams said he was outside working in his yard while the girl spent time with her mother in the house, according to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. At some point, he realized McCord and his daughter were gone. Williams said McCord later sent a phone text, telling him that his car was at a nearby grocery store and the keys were under the seat.
James Williams kneels down to speak with his 6-year-old daughter at an Atlanta airport. The girl was kidnapped in 2021. (Smyrna Police Department)
Williams reported the girl missing to Smyrna Police. Arrest warrants were subsequently issued for McCord and Guerra. After the abduction, the Smyrna Police contacted the U.S. Marshals Service and requested assistance in recovering the kidnapped child and arresting the perpetrators. The U.S. Marshals Service took the case.
“Tonight, a baby girl was reunited with her daddy!!” Smyrna Police wrote on Facebook.
The Smyrna Police Department and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children announced a 6-year-old girl was found safe on Saturday, July 15, 2023, in Mexico. (The Smyrna Police Department/ Facebook)
“Two years ago, a non-custodial parent took their child unlawfully and fled the country,” the department wrote. “Until recently, SPD didn’t have many leads on the whereabouts of the parent or child. With the help of new investigative technologies and SPD detectives that NEVER gave up, a young child was reunited today with the custodial parent.”
“If you know the whereabouts of a missing child or person, please reach out to law enforcement. We’ll never give up trying to reunite loved ones,” police said.