LOWELL, Mass. - A Lowell 1-year-old who went missing for more than a month is home in his mother's arms. Local and federal authorities teamed up to track down the child nearly 3,000 miles away in Mexico City.
The child's mother told Boston 25 News how comfortably her little boy is resting at home. She's giving police in Lowell a lot of the credit for making that possible; they used her Facebook account to monitor the movement of the child's father south of the border.
"He means the world to me, he's everything," said Mahalia Alexander-Paggi, the boy's mother.
Watching her son sleep, something Alexander-Paggi once took for granted. After six weeks away from her baby boy, she can't take her eyes off him.
Lowell mom relives emotional rollercoaster of baby boy’s six week disappearance during parental kidnapping. How police used social media to track down child & father #Boston25 at 10/11 pic.twitter.com/LfM4mjJCk4— Drew Karedes (@DrewKaredes) February 19, 2019
"This is a worst nightmare that any parent can go through," Alexander-Paggi said. "Six weeks is a long time being away from your son."
Those winding weeks, a cruel lesson on what life without her 1-year-old son would look like, missing milestones – like the moment Julian learned how to walk for the first time.
"He doesn't want me to leave his side," Alexander-Paggi said. "He has to sleep next to me. It's just good to have him back."
Back after the child's father, Fillemom De Lima, up and vanished with Julian, according to police. The two ventured all the way to Mexico during what was supposed to be an overnight visit.
During the trip, De Lima used Facebook to taunt Alexander-Paggi.
"Just torturing me, sending pictures and videos to me with another woman mothering my child basically," Alexander-Paggi said.
She believes Julian’s dad would've taken him all the way to his native Brazil if Lowell Police and the FBI hadn't teamed up to put the brakes on the nearly 3,000 mile journey. The trip came to an end in Mexico City.
"Don’t be selfish, don’t use your child as a weapon," Alexander-Paggi said.
Days after authorities recovered Alexander-Paggi’s child, Julian had a happy homecoming and a mom glowing with gratitude.
"I'm happy, when I cry it's tears of joy just to have my baby back," Alexander-Paggi said.
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