Family of missing Tyler girl happy she's safe

By Morgan Chesky - email

Posted By Molly Reuter - bio - email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - After nearly a week, the family of Iridian Julissa Rodriguez, 11 finally get some good news.  Friday night, the girl's mother says she got a phone call from Julissa saying she was in Monterrey, Mexico.  Julissa has since been reunited with a nearby relative.

Police say Julissa's alleged kidnapper, Enrique Vasquez, 23 is also in Mexico.  Authorities, however, are still looking for him.

The search for Julissa Rodriguez began Sunday.  The next day family members posted flyers throughout East Texas, hoping and praying for word of Julissa.  Tuesday night, a wrecked car found in Irving belonging to Julissa's alleged kidnapper, Enrique Vasquez, seemed a promising lead, but for Julissa's mother Maira Macias, the best news came Friday night on her cell phone.

"She said she was fine, she was ok, not to worry about her, she was fine," said Macias.  Fine, but still far away, nearly 600 miles from Tyler in Monterrey, Mexico.

"Just knowing that she's safe and knowing that she's alive is a big relief," said Macias.  A relief felt by more than just the girl's family.

"What a blessing, you know, we hear the longer a child is missing the outcome is not good," said Tyler Police Officer Don Martin.  "We're getting close to a week today, so again we're extremely pleased that she's ok."  As for the hundreds who helped search for Julissa, Macias shares a mother's gratitude.

"There are no words that can describe how thankful and appreciative she is toward those people, nothing she could do, or say to thank them enough," said Susie Rodriguez who was translating for Macias.  When she sees her daughter again, Macias has this message.

"She loves her, that she misses her, and that here is where she's loved and where she's cared for with her family," said Rodriguez.

The girl's family says Julissa arrived in Mexico sometime Friday.  As we mentioned earlier, both U.S. And Mexican authorities continue to search for Julissa's alleged kidnapper Enrique Vasquez, 23.  If found, police say Vasquez will be extradited back to the U.S. where he will face aggravated kidnapping charges.