HOUSTON – A Houston woman is still hoping to find her daughter, 24 years after her ex-husband kidnapped her.
Deena Hebert says in 1995, her ex-husband, Juan Lozano, kidnapped their then 19-month-old daughter Bianca. She believes he took the toddler south of the border.
Hebert was 21 years old when she gave birth to her daughter on Aug. 19, 1993. The name she gave her baby was Bianca Lozano.
“It was pretty awesome you know, I loved her so much, I still do, not that I don’t, but she was my world, she was everything,” Hebert said.
But soon after, Hebert says Lozano began to change. She claims he physically abused her and so she decided to leave him to ensure the safety of the baby and herself.
“I was scared after Nicole Brown Simpson was murdered, that kind of opened my eyes, that could be me, I could end up dead after this,” she said.
Court records show Lozano was charged with assaulting Hebert while the couple was going through an ugly divorce. Hebert moved in with her parents and a judge granted her temporary custody of Bianca while Lozano had visitation rights on weekends.
Then one weekend in April 1995, Lozano took Bianca and that was the last time Hebert saw her.
“I remember standing there, staring at the back of the door and I said ‘he is not coming back,’ and my mom goes well just give him a few minutes maybe he’s changing a diaper or just running late,” she said.
Now, 24 years later, she is still just as desperate to find her.
“(Bianca) doesn’t know her name, she doesn’t know her birthday, she doesn’t know she’s an American citizen,” Hebert told KPRC 2. “And if something were to happen to my daughter, I would not even know. Nobody would even tell me. That’s so heartless to me.”
Hebert hired three private investigators over the years to find Lozano, who is from Monterrey in Mexico. She even made four trips to the city to search for her daughter.
“If we had to kidnap her back or whatever then I guess that’s what we were going to do, but it didn’t happen,” she said.
Hebert says she can’t believe it’s been so long.
“Not only did I miss when she was young growing up, but I am missing the now relationship, you know, and I can’t get any of that back,” Hebert said. “I cannot give up on my daughter, you know...I won’t, I refuse, I don’t care how old she is or how old I am, I will not stop looking for her, never."
Eventually, all leads went cold, and Hebert was out of cash, drained by the private investigators. But as technology advanced, Hebert found new ways to search for her baby.
She discovered Bianca’s name and birthday in a population registry in Mexico. She also uncovered a fake birth certificate for Bianca which had a fake birthday and said her daughter’s name was Fabiola Nina Suarez.
“Everybody was thinking maybe we could find her with this, but it still led to eventually nowhere,” Hebert said.
In 2013, she got her most promising lead. A tipster reached out to through Facebook. The tipster said her daughter attended a music school in Monterrey and sent her pictures.
“It was surreal because looking at her I could see myself and I could see her dad, so I knew it was her, there was no question I did not need a DNA test,” she said.
Forensic experts also compared photos, looking at ear biometrics and they concluded this most likely Bianca. Hebert thought she was closing in. She reached out to the school, but it was too late. A few months prior, the woman was abruptly pulled from the school and again, a possible lead on her daughter disappeared.
But Hebert got in touch with some of the woman’s friends at the school who gave her insight on who she was, and her controlling father. The friends never heard from the woman again.
The Harris County District Attorney’s fugitive apprehension team filed an international warrant against Lozano for interference with child custody. The FBI has offered a $10,000 reward for information that leads to Lozano’s arrest. Officials believe Lozano might be using the alias Gino Suarez.