Runaway returns to Dallas Friday night

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by REBECCA LOPEZ

Bio | Email | Follow: @rlopezwfaa

WFAA

Posted on January 6, 2012 at 1:56 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 6 at 11:56 PM

D/FW AIRPORT - Jakadrien Turner was turned over to U.S. embassy officials this morning, and landed in Dallas shortly after 6:30 p.m. Friday.

Meanwhile a Houston Congresswoman called for a complete investigation into the government organizations that allowed Jakadrien to be deported when she was just 14 years old.
 
On Thursday the U.S. Embassy gave Colombian officials all the documents they wanted to prove Turner is an American citizen.
       
Having those documents in hand they agreed to turn her over this morning.  She was escorted to Dallas.

“Trying to catch my breath,” said Lorene Turner, Jakadrien’s grandmother. “You just don't know how I feel. I'm just speechless."

Thursday night she received a call from Bogota. It was the answer to a prayer.

The Colombian government agreed to hand over Jakadrien to the U.S. Embassy.

"Oh I feel good,” she said. “It was worth it.”

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) sits on the judiciary and homeland security committees and she wants answers into how the girl wound up in Colombia in the first place.

"It is best to not have anything to hide and to get the truth out," Lee said. "I think our concern today is for young Ms. Turner."

Rep. Lee said Jakadrien may have lied to authorities about her identity, but someone should have done more to identify and protect her.

"There were moments when we should have paused and had a greater investigation on this young, single woman," Lee said. "At that time, 14 years old."

Rep. Lee wants the Houston Police Department, the prosecutors who convicted her of theft and ICE, who deported her, investigated.

"There is no doubt that I believe in making sure that our systems of justice work, that people are protected, that there is a fair system of immigration and that those that are here to do us harm are found, convicted and deported," Lee said. "Those who have come to do us harm... This was not that case."

Embassy officials told Lorene Turner her granddaughter is in good spirits, and she's ready to see her family.

"After they said she was on the plane, I didn't hear anything else they were saying," Lorene Turner said.

Jakadrien Turner's story started when she ran away from her Oak Cliff home a year and a half ago.

She ended up in Houston and was arrested for shoplifting.

Jakadrien lied and said she was from Colombia and no one thoroughly checked out her story, so the 15-year-old was deported last April.

Her determined grandmother found her in South America and alerted police.

Jakadrien had been working in a call center in Colombia and even posted that job on her Facebook page.

But the drama is ending because Jakadrien has a grandmother who was determined to find her.

The family has a lot of questions for the young girl, but Lorene Turner said they would show her nothing but love.

"I'm going to hug her, and show her as much love as I can," the grandmother said.

Jakadrien Turner got off the plane, and was taken into ICE custody and to private area to be debriefed, which was still going on after 9:00 p.m. Friday. After that, she will be released to her family, who say they'll go out for a big welcome home dinner.

E-mail rlopez@wfaa.com

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