She Never Returned
Greg Allen, a resident of Austin, Texas, described the springtime evening as typical. His four-year-old daughter Sabrina was going to her mother that evening for a usual visit. He gave her a tender farewell wave and promised to meet her again later.
Sabrina did not, however, return to her house. The awful details progressively started to surface when a case was opened.
It never occurred to Greg that evening would be the last time he would see his daughter. He embarked on a 12-year journey to get his ex-wife back when he found out she was in Mexico with their only child.
But when she eventually returned to the country, many years later, something was terribly different about his little girl. He hadn't anticipated or hoped for the reunion he experienced.
The Perfect Life
It should come as no surprise that Greg and Dara Llorens hit it off well and decided to marry shortly after meeting through a dating service. Sabrina Allen was born May 30, 1997. During his tenure with Austin's university, Greg was a scientist engaged in engineering research.
When he and Dara were gifted with a beautiful girl, he was over the moon since he had always longed to have children of his own.
The couple's relationship was initially charming and passionate, but as soon as Sabrina reached three, things started to go south. After a contentious divorce, Greg was granted exclusive custody of the child by the court. Greg was better able to support Sabrina and give her a comfortable environment because he had a steady employment.
Dara, however, did not agree with this. Child Protection Service began to inquire into the young girl's family life at this point as well.
When Sabrina reported Greg's abusive behavior with Dara to the authorities, it came as a tremendous shock. He claimed that his child did so while simultaneously acknowledging the falsity of what her mother had previously told them.
Greg asserted that Sabrina had stated: "My daddy hits my mommy, it's a lie my mommy instructed me to say," in a 2014 interview with the Daily Mail.
Hands Were Tied
Even after the judge decided in Greg's favor, Dara allegedly threatened her ex-husband again. She apparently admitted to the scientist's family that she intended to flee with their daughter at one time. Greg found out about this and informed the authorities right away.
However, since these were merely threats and Dara had done nothing to indicate she would actually carry them out, there was practically nothing they could do.
Nothing Came From It
The threats never materialized, and Greg and Dara's relationship appeared to have gotten better over time. Greg acknowledged that Dara eventually agreed to the terms, even though they had previously had disagreements about visitation arrangements. She even began to cooperate and be cordial whenever they spoke.
During a meeting with her mother at a charity center in Austin on April 19, 2002, Greg brought Sabrina over. The beginning of a nightmare that would last many years lay ahead of him.
An Ominous Goodbye
He kissed Sabrina goodbye before dropping her off. Two days later, Dara returned to the charity to collect her daughter, and the couple agreed that she would bring her back at six pm the following evening.
Greg later realized that the farewells sounded foreboding after hearing his daughter remark, "Daddy, don't ever forget me."
He realized there was a serious problem when Dara and Sabrina failed to show up at their scheduled meeting location in Austin two days later. Greg made a police report. Sadly, it appeared that he was too late. It looks that his only daughter and ex-wife had already vanished. To find out where his daughter was, Greg hired a private detective.
Leredo, a city on the border of Mexico and Texas, was the only place that made sense. In spite of this, life was about to throw Greg another curveball...
A woman and a young child were seen traveling into Mexico on a bus. Greg followed their trail and moved south because he was desperate to get his daughter back.
His limited command of Spanish proved to be a challenge, but he knew he had to persevere or he might never see his young daughter again.
He took leave from his job at the university and embarked on a painstaking journey in search of Sabrina. He also began taking a crash course in Spanish. When he wasn’t studying, he was busy setting up flyers all over Mexico City with Sabrina’s face on them.
He also started a website called FindSabrina.org so that people who might have leads would be able to reach him. But it was only a year later before he would find a pivotal clue…
A Hopeful Father
At a school located ten miles from where Greg was staying, a teacher voiced out that she had a student who doesn’t speak Spanish and kept saying she misses her dad.
She had been feeling concerned about the child and had seen some of the posters that had been circulating. Greg’s heart began to race. Could it be her?
A Strong Lead
However, when the teacher asked more questions about the little girl, who was named Blanca, the child allegedly said that her father was in Texas. Convinced that the little girl was the one Greg was looking for, she sent the father an email to declare her suspicions. “She is suffering in her mother’s care,” said the email.
Greg didn’t need any more convincing, but when he notified the authorities, he was met with red tape.
In the United States, Sabrina was already recorded as a “missing person.” On the other hand, Dara had been listed under the FBI’s Most Wanted list. Although Greg gave the US Embassy all the details about his daughter’s whereabouts, the response and action was slow. By the time the authorities had done something about the reports, the mother and daughter duo had once again disappeared.
But Greg was not the type who would feel disheartened and quit.
The Search Continues
He went back to studying Spanish and, over time, became closer to his teacher, Mariana. For more than a year, Mariana helped Greg search for his missing child. Later on, the two fell in love and even started a family of their own.
But Greg couldn’t move on with his life knowing that his daughter was still out there… somewhere.
A Father’s Promise
Although Greg had carved out a new life for himself and had even found some happiness, he vowed to never stop searching for his daughter. The private investigator who had been assigned to her case never stopped looking for leads, either.
But it wasn’t until twelve years later that they received a tipoff that would prove to be a breakthrough.
A Different Lead
In September 2014, the investigator’s lead took them to an apartment in Papalotla – 80 miles away from Mexico City. Little did they know, they were about to finally blow the case wide open.
They notified the authorities, who readied themselves for what was to come. Not wanting to let Dara get away again, they moved quickly.
It Is Her
Dara was arrested and Sabrina was finally brought back to the United States after being missing for 12 long years. Greg was ecstatic – his determination had finally paid off -- he finally had his daughter back and he thanked his lucky stars that she was unharmed.
But the reunion of Sabrina and her father wasn’t quite what he had been expecting.
All Grown Up
Sabrina was now a young woman of 17, and Greg thought that she would be delighted to see him. Sadly, that wasn’t the case at all. Sabrina flatly refused to reunite with her father. It became clear that Dara had gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal their true identities. Dara had gone under the knife to change her appearance, and she had dyed Sabrina’s hair.
What was worse, however, is that she lied to Sabrina about her father, saying that he had taken his own life.
Of course, Sabrina was highly traumatized by all her mother had put her through. But Greg never gave up hope and waited patiently for her to have a change of heart. She needed to learn to trust again.
He appointed his wife Mariana as his only point of contact between him and his daughter while her mother appeared in court – charged for aggravated kidnapping.
The legal process only wound up after another year had passed. In December 2015, Dara pleaded guilty and was subsequently given a six-year prison sentence. But by then, Sabrina was living with her father.
Not recognizing her own name, she went by the name Fair – a translation of her old alias, Blanca. Fortunately, she seems to be on the road to recovering from the years of trauma.
Not many people know the scary statistics involving missing children in America. In 2013 there were almost 50 000 missing children cases in the state of Texas only.
Fortunately, the majority of these children were found or made their way back home, but sometimes the parent is not so lucky. Greg Allen was horrified to become yet another statistic as his life was halted by the same problem. His daughter Sabrina Allen, was abducted by her own mother back in 2002 at only four years old.
Greg told reports that just before his daughter was abducted there were signs that something bad was going to happen. His ex-wife Dara Allen would put bad thoughts about the father into the child’s mind.
Greg noticed this and when he confronted Dara about her wrongdoing, she would threaten to take the child away to Mexico.
Looking back at the moment when he last saw his daughter, Greg recalls what his daughter said to him last. When he dropped her off, he kissed her goodbye as usual. She said something that would cut through his heart like a knife, “Daddy, don’t ever forget me.”
He had strong suspicions that something was wrong and immediately contacted the police for advice, but it was too late.
A Last Look
The forlorn father looked at her Cartoon Scooby Doo blanket and her Snow White Plush toy in despair. He felt as though he would never see his baby girl ever again.
He questioned himself and asked God why he was doing this to him. How could a mother do this to her own child? This wasn’t a mother, it was a monster.
Meanwhile, Dara had taken Sabrina and was driving down to Mexico. The deranged mother changed their identities and even got disguises so nobody would recognize them. There have been allegations that Dara underwent plastic surgery, which is also why Greg could not find her for so many years.
She made herself disappear, she and her daughter never existed.
The Fathers Struggle
Back in America, Greg had not forgotten about his daughter. Even though working a full-time job, he still took the time to go down to Mexico and physically look for her.
Greg lived with a local family on his Mexico trips and he learned how to speak Spanish. The family felt his pain and understood that he would need to get to know the city and the language if he was ever going to find clues about his daughter's whereabouts.
After a few grueling years, he eventually received a valid lead. A teacher had emailed him with suspicions. There was a little white girl who didn’t speak any Spanish and when she would arrive at school, she would cry with her teacher for hours.
The teacher told him another name, and he realized that she had come up with a pseudo-name to hide their true identities.
One Step Ahead
But Dara was too clever for Greg. When the school confronted her about the issue, Dara said that the teacher had no right to interfere in her personal issues and actually got the teacher fired from her job.
Dara told the principal that Greg abused her, so he took her side and let her take her child.
A Better Plan
This did not stop Greg. He was so close. After so many years of searching, he finally found out that his baby girl was alive and well. He wasn’t going to let her get away again. He had to act fast.
He decided to contact the authorities to help with the search. He had no choice but to get the law involved.
The Authorities Save The Day
Greg sought the assistance of the Mexican Federal Police, FBI, and US Marshalls. They managed to track Dara down again in 2014. They barged into her flat, arrested her, took Sabrina into custody, and flew them back to America to be tried.
Everything happened so quickly. It had to be that way. If Dara knew that anyone had found her hiding spot, she would be on the run again.
Dara was incarcerated and charged with interfering in child custody and aggravated kidnapping. The distraught mother received another eight years added to her sentence.
She deserved more punishment for all her lies and torment, but Greg did not want Sabrina to see her mother suffering. He was still a kind man at heart.
The First Moment
When Greg finally found his daughter, she wasn’t a little girl anymore. Many years had passed and she had grown into a ‘beautiful teenage girl. Greg was overjoyed to finally meet his daughter, but the teenager wasn’t as excited.
Years of her mother's abuse and brainwashing prevented her from being able to connect with her father.
The Fathers Pain
She had heard so many different stories over the years that she didn’t know what to believe. In an interview, Greg said “Sabrina has been under an intense campaign to hate me for 12 years. She was effectively a prisoner... She has been told that I didn’t want her and that I committed suicide.”
Luckily Greg’s new wife Marianna is a kind and accepting woman. She spent time talking to Sabrina and tried to help her to deal with the trauma.
A Brighter Future
Reporters asked Greg what advice he had for other parents who may find themselves in the same situation. The admirable father said, "You just gotta keep trying. You gotta go do whatever you can do. You just gotta be creative, get the word out...just don't give up."
This father had a hidden strength, he never gave up on his child. He is truly an inspiration for all fathers out there.
Father and Daughter Reunited
Greg did just that, and his determination finally paid off. He finally got to hold his first child again. His family was reunited and he had a great future ahead of him. He had to make up for a lot of lost time. These days the family enjoys spending quality time together.
If you didn’t believe in God before, this miracle story proves that you can’t keep love away from love.
Disclaimer: To protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author's imagination. Any resemblances to actual events, places, or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.