San Mateo

Search Continues for Bay Area Woman Kidnapped in Mexico

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The search continues for a Bay Area woman missing in Mexico.

FBI investigators believe San Mateo resident Monica de Leon Barba was kidnapped and are offering a $40,000 reward for information in hopes of finding her.

"I know there's a lot of good investigators and agents on our side, on our team, giving it their all to help my sister out," brother Gustavo de Leon said in an interview with NBC Bay Area on Monday. "Unfortunately, much of the responsibility falls on Mexican investigators whom I wish to urge more."

Gustavo previously told NBC Bay Area that Monica lives in San Mateo and was visiting Tepatitlán, Jalisco, Mexico. On Nov. 29, 2022, Monica was walking with her dog, when she was taken.

Officials on Friday released a video that shows Monica before her disappearance in Mexico. Federal agents said they believe she is alive and that her disappearance was a targeted kidnapping.

Her family is urging California lawmakers to help in the search.

Last October, the U.S. State Department issued travel advisories in Mexico, asking people reconsider travel in Jalisco due to crime and kidnapping.

Monica is described as standing 5 foot and 7 inches tall, with brown hair and brown eyes, according to the FBI.

Anyone with information about her location is encouraged to contact their local FBI office or the nearest American embassy or consulate. People can also submit a tip online at or call the FBI's tip line at 1-800-225-5324.

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