A few days ago we told you about Jakadrien Turner, a Dallas teen who was mistakenly deported to Colombia. After the media picked up the story, the teen is finally headed home.

Turner’s ordeal began in November 2010 when she ran away from her Dallas home after the death of her grandfather and amid her parents’ divorce. She ended up in Houston where she was arrested for theft. After her arrest, she gave police a fake name, which belonged to a 22-year-old Colombian national who was wanted by authorities. Turner, who was just 14 at the time, was taken into custody by immigration officials and mistakenly deported to Colombia.

Her grandmother tracked her down in Colombia and contacted the US Embassy, who was trying to get Turner home, but she was being held by Colombian authorities.

Now, CNN has confirmed that Jakadrien is headed home. The news outlet also has further details about the story.

They report:

CNN quotes U.S. State Department spokesman William Ostick as saying Turner left Colombia at mid-morning. He noted that the U.S. Embassy in Bogota worked closely with Colombian officials as well as authorities in Texas to resolve the case.

During hours of interviews with U.S. immigration officials, police and Colombian officials, Turner stuck by her story and her identity.

Her family had no idea as to her whereabouts.

She was finally located by her determined grandmother, Lorene Turner, who kept following clues and messages on her Facebook page until she tracked her down in South America, WFAA-TV in Dallas reported.

Jakadrien, who is pregnant, was given a job and citizenship in Bogota by Colombian authorities who continued to believe her false story.

The Colombian government says the teen had been working in a call center when Dallas police located her and alerted U.S and Colombian officials, the Associated Press reports.

WFAA reports that Colombian officials said Thursday night that they would turn her over to the U.S. Embassy today.

While it is unclear why the teen stuck to the story of her fake identity even after she was deported, her grandmother is happy she in on the way home.

“Oh, I feel good,” her grandmother, Lorene Turner, tells WFAA. “It was worth it. All the wrinkles under my eyes. I’ve aged. Look like I’m 80 now. But it’s all right. It’s OK.”

  • cupcakes and shiraz

    That case is just bizarre all around.

    But I hope this shuts up all the leftist conspiracy theorists and anti-immigration reform nuts who have been using this story for their cause.

  • ThisIshRightHere

    I still don’t believe the vast majority of this story. S/O to Clutch for posting it, though. Everyone involved here needs MANY more people

  • sassy1

    I think I would have left her over there. She continued with the lie b/c she wanted to. And it doesn’t seem Columbia treated her badly, they gave her a job and she was able to Facebook. She is gonna come back here for what exactly???????

  • Ginger

    She’s also pregnant (from what I heard on CNN). This is a weird story. Her Mom doesn’t believe she could have done it without the help of adults. A bad way to take a trip abroad…

  • Pingback: Mistakenly Deported Teen, Jakadrien Turner, Finally Headed Home … « Teen Blog !!

  • Kissa

    The story has so many holes in it its crazy…Are the police and INS making up the fact that she stuck to her “story” so they don’t have to pay up? Also why was she held In Colombia? How did she get pregnant? Did she get raped, have a significant other? Did she stick with her story out of fear for survival? She is fourteen, can’t speak the language making her vulnerable to predators, a minor has no rights. Her alias on the other hand is twenty two an adult, a citizen with freedom and opportunities which one would you pick?
    She ran away, where did she stay before getting picked up by the police? What did she steal? How did she she get to Houston?…So many questions why I can’t run with this story…Fishy indeed…

  • Bosslady

    Yeah, I’m not buying this story…

  • Tonton Michel ( Formerly known as Clnmike)

    Nope not buying it.

  • Simone L

    Her name alone…..omfg. Why can’t black folks leave a good name alone without trying to add some extra shit. Adrian= Jakadrian?!?! WTF?! I’m done. I can’t

  • Timcampi

    Damn, only black folks would lambaste their youth like the way some people have in these comments. She was 13 or 14 at the time of her disappearance– give her a break.! Anything that happened to her in order to make this child pregnant, would legally be defined as rape on U.S. soil. Doesn’t anyone see that?

    Sigh… the responses here hearkens me to the Amber Cole fiasco. Can we really just get over this “Well I would have done this if I were her” mentality. Colombia isn’t exact the sweetest country in the world. Who is to say she didn’t try to escape? Who is to say she was afforded that opportunity. It’s not like when they deport you they leave you next to the closest U.S Embassy. And on top of that she didn’t speak Spanish so how was she going to contact anyone? Scared and alone I would have done my best to adapt until I found a way to survive, which she seems to have done swimmingly.

    And then we have someone here commenting on her name rather than how sad and disturbing this story should be -____-. No offense to Simone L, but that just really says something to me. We want people to care about our missing/abandoned youth but we don’t actually care enough ourselves. Meh.

  • Timcampi

    thrive not survive*

  • TheBestAnonEver, Part 2

    I agree with you, but will change it from ‘only black folks would lambaste their youth’ to only black youths would be lambasted by everyone.

  • TheBestAnonEver, Part 2

    I don’t buy this story at all………

  • Timcampi

    Haha, I’d make that change too. My anger and disappointment is no reason for my generalization. I apologize~

  • oknow

    she ran away from home 2 years ago after her parents got divorced and her grandfather died. she didn’t want to be found.. she put her parents and grandmother through this mess and for what?! she could’ve been killed.. then she’s pregnant? by whom? kids gotta know that their are other ways and if they need to talk to someone there are ppl out there who can help… so many questions.. but thank goodness she’s ok..

    got to admit that this story got more holes in it then Swiss cheese.

  • Kissa a Jamaican

    DALLAS (AP) — A Texas teenager who was deported to Colombia in May after claiming to be an illegal immigrant was returned to the United States and remains at the center of an international mystery over how a minor could be sent to a country where she is not a citizen.

    Her family has questioned why U.S. officials didn’t do more to verify her identity and say she is not fluent in Spanish and had no ties to Colombia. While many facts of the case involving Jakadrien Lorece Turner remain unclear, U.S. and Colombian officials have pointed fingers over who is responsible.

    Jakadrien, 15, arrived in Dallas on Friday evening and was reunited with her family. She was flanked by her mother, grandmother and law enforcement when she emerged from the international gate at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport shortly before 10 p.m.

    “She’s happy to be home,” the family’s attorney, Ray Jackson, said, adding that the family would not be issuing any statements Friday night.

    He said the family was “ecstatic” to have Jakadrien back in Texas and they plan to “do what we can to make sure she gets back to a normal life.”

    Immigration experts say that while cases of mistaken identity are rare, people can slip through the cracks, especially if they don’t have legal help or family members working on their behalf. But they say U.S. immigration authorities had the responsibility to determine if a person is a citizen.

    “Often in these situations they have these group hearings where they tell everybody you’re going to be deported,” said Jacqueline Stevens, a political science professor at Northwestern University, who is an expert on immigration issues. “Everything is really quick, even if you understand English you wouldn’t understand what is going on. If she were in that situation as a 14-year-old she would be herded through like cattle and not have a chance to talk to the judge about her situation.”

    Jakadrien’s saga began when the teen ran away more than a year ago. Jakadrien’s family said she left home in November 2010. Houston police said the girl was arrested on April 2, 2011, for misdemeanor theft in that city and claimed to be Tika Lanay Cortez, a Colombian woman born in 1990. It was unclear if she has been living under that name.

    Houston police said in a statement that her name was run through a database to determine if she was wanted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement but the results were negative. She was then turned over to the Harris County jail and booked on the theft charge.

    The county sheriff’s office said it ran her through the available databases and did the interviews necessary to establish her identity and immigration status in the country, with negative results. A sheriff’s office employee recommended that an immigration detainer be put on her, and upon her release from jail she was turned over to ICE.

    U.S. immigration officials insist they followed procedure and found nothing to indicate that the girl wasn’t a Colombian woman living illegally in the country.

    An ICE official said the teen claimed to be Cortez throughout the criminal proceedings in Houston and the ensuing deportation process, in which an immigration judge ultimately ordered her back to Colombia.

    Standard procedure before any deportation is to coordinate with the other country in order to establish that person is from there, the ICE official said.

    The ICE official, speaking on condition of anonymity due to not being authorized to discuss additional details of the case, said the teenager was interviewed by a representative from the Colombian consulate and that country’s government issued her a travel document to enter Colombia.

    Jakadrien was issued travel documents at the request of U.S. officials using information they provided, the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. Colombian officials are investigating what kind of verification was conducted by its Houston consulate to issue the temporary passport.

    The girl was given Colombian citizenship upon arriving in that country, the ICE official said.

    According to the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the girl was enrolled in the country’s “Welcome Home” program after she arrived there. She was given shelter, psychological assistance and a job at a call center, a statement from the agency said.

    “If she looked like an adult, and she told them she was a 21-year-old Colombian citizen, and she didn’t show up in their databases, this was inevitable,” said Albert Armendariz, an immigration attorney from El Paso.

    Jakadrien’s family says they have no idea why she ended up in Colombia. Johnisa Turner said the girl is a U.S. citizen who was born in Dallas and was not fluent in Spanish. She said neither she nor the teen’s father had ties to Colombia. Jakadrien’s grandmother, Lorene Turner, called the deportation a “big mistake somebody made.”

    “She looks like a kid, she acts like a kid. How could they think she wasn’t a kid?” Lorene Turner asked on Thursday.

    Lorene Turner, a Dallas hairstylist, said she spent a lot of time on the Internet trying to track down Jakadrien.

    Ultimately, the girl was found in Bogota by the Dallas Police Department with help from Colombian and U.S. officials.

    Dallas Police detective C’mon (pronounced Simone) Wingo, the detective in charge of the case, said she was contacted in August by the girl’s grandmother, who said Jakadrien had posted “kind of disturbing” messages on a Facebook account where she goes by yet another name.

    Wingo said the girl was located in early November through her use of a computer to log into Facebook. Relatives were then put into contact with the U.S. embassy in Bogota to provide pictures and documents to prove Jakadrien’s identity.

    Colombian officials said when the government discovered she was a U.S. citizen and a minor, it put her under the care of a welfare program.

    State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the case was brought to the State Department’s attention in mid-December.

    “We didn’t have any involvement at all in this case until it came to light that there may be a problem with an American minor in Colombia, and that – and then we became involved both with Colombian authorities and with folks in Dallas,” Nuland said.

    Stephen Yale-Loehr, who teaches immigration law at Cornell Law School, said hundreds of U.S. citizens are wrongfully detained or deported each year.

    “There are a variety of legitimate reasons why somebody might not appear to be a U.S. citizen at first glance.” he said. “It’s the duty of the U.S. federal immigration agency to make sure that we do not detain and deport U.S. citizens erroneously. And this, unfortunately happened in this case

  • Tonton Michel

    Thanks for the info, after reading that I think it is obvious this kid was and still is lying through her teeth, she didn’t want to be found. Blaming law enforcement and ICE is unfair, no system is prepared for lying teenagers.

  • Simone L

    So, me commenting on her name equates to me not caring about this story? Yeah. That makes sense. Do I have to comment “I care” to prove something? Yes, i think it’s a crazy ass story, and it’s sad all the way around, especially her family situation that caused her to run away but last time I checked, I was free to comment however. Also, I never lambasted her or anyone…just her name and the person who named her.And, yes this story has more holes than swiss cheese. Just to get an id, I have to show all sorts of certificates and passports and everything. So…just because she has the same (fake) name as someone else…she gets deported? Sorry. I don’t have the $$$ to buy this story.

  • Timcampi

    I didn’t say you didn’t care. I didn’t say you lambasted anyone. But now that you point it out… : “Also, I never lambasted her or anyone…just her name and the person who named her.” –> So obviously that means your not lambasting her. Just her name… and the person who named her. Her name obviously has nothing to do with her. Obviously.

    I meant you no offense, I said that– you are getting offended so I will apologize for that. But i’m not going to amend my opinion. You still commented on her name rather than the story. And it’s completely within your right to do so. It’s also within my right to judge you based off of it, which I wasn’t. My comment wasn’t directed at you beyond the simply example).

    But really it was a more immediate concern to crack at her name than the actual story or you wouldn’t have done it… Whether or not her story makes sense she is a child and children deserve to be protected. Until we have definitive proof that she is lying or the government is lying we shouldn’t be so quick to denounce her story. Especially since the government totes does things like detain people for an indefinite amount of time for no reason.

    I hardly think a 14 year old child has the ability to confound a whole legal system without some help or goading.

  • Tameko P

    While the deportation situation was messed up, she managed to make a life for herself in a foreign country. That’s what I wonder about. She kept up the charade even until she landed in Columbia! What was she running from that made a different COUNTRY appeal to her?

  • http://fattiesoslim.tumblr.com FattieSoSlim

    That’s exactly what I want to know too.

  • OhmyKimb

    So why did her facebook that they found her on say her name is Tika…

    Come on! The American media is so biased and censored that there’s no way I believe this. That girl is lying, did lie, and now there are more lies covering the whole thing up.

  • lala

    You are right, Colombia is not the sweetest country in the world but is is not Colombias fault what that girl did. As a Colombian I can tell you that the girl could easily go to the US embassy in Bogota or contact someone there by e-mail since she could log in to her facebook account to put pictures of herself smoking pot, the embassy is in the middle of the city, not in some secret place, and it is open five days a week, nobody in Colombia asked her to come, dont make it sound like she was kidnaped or anything else. You should remenber that the girl not only ran away from her home but was arrested for theft, she is not a sweet little poor girl.

    I´ve read so many comments on this magazine about people complaining of racism all the time, but you ar not any better that those racist since you blame Colombians for something that its clearly the fault of an american girl out of control.

  • Kim

    @lala,
    Here you come with your BS. So darn stupid. Like you said, no one told the little girl to lie about her name, but no one told you to ente this site. It’s not about you so why bother. Bish be gone.

  • http://areacodegoldmine.com/972 Venus Johnson

    Even though she could pass for being biracial, I don’t see how this happened.

    SAD! But luckily for her, she had a loving grandmother that wouldn’t rest until she was found.

  • Vertigo Schtick

    @lala

    When I said “the government” I was referring to the American government– I think the way I phrased that made that interpretation unclear. So I apologize, but how exactly was I being racist… my comment was barely about Columbia past that once sentence. Erm. Alrighty.

Latest Stories

Teen Launches Hijab Project to Bridge the Gap Between Muslim and Non-Muslim Women

by

Future & Kanye’s ‘I Won’ Could Have Been a Great Love Song, But They Messed It Up

by

Study: Referring to Obesity as a Disease Encourages Unhealthy Eating Habits

by

5 Ways to Style an Awkward Length Afro

by
Read previous post:
Hello Ms. Real Booty
National Unemployment Rate Drops, While Rate Increases for Blacks
Close