A Massachusetts woman is relieved to have her 1-year-old son back after his father allegedly kidnapped him and took him to Mexico.
Authorities say 37-year-old Fillemom De Lima of Lawrence kidnapped his 14-month-old son, Julian. Lowell Police announced Monday that De Lima had been found in Mexico, where he was held by authorities at an immigration detention center.
Julian had not been seen since Jan. 9. He was reunited with his mother, Mahalia Alexander-Paggi, Sunday night at Logan International Airport in Boston.
"I was very full of excitement, words can't even explain," Alexander-Paggi said of the reunion.
She said she had joint custody with De Lima, her ex-boyfriend, and did not see this coming.
"Fil was a great, amazing father. He loved my son. He treated him awesome, amazingly," Alexander-Paggi said. "Spoiled him, actually. Just for some reason, he just had this hate toward me."
De Lima was caught after posting multiple photos and videos of Julian. Alexander-Paggi believes she knows why he took to the internet.
"To torture me, basically," she explained. "To say, like, 'Look what I'm doing with our son.' He got his first haircut without me."
Investigators also say De Lima's credit card transactions helped them track him to Ohio and California before he was captured in Mexico. Authorities believe he intended to take off to his native Brazil.
If he made it there, police say they may not have been able to reunite the boy with his mother.
"He didn't win," Alexander-Paggi said. "He tried to, like, ruin my life. And he didn't."
"All he needs is me at this point," she added about her son.
Several federal agencies helped with the investigation, including Customs and Border Protection and the Department of Homeland Security. Alexander-Paggi is grateful for their work to find Julian.
"Without them, this wouldn't have been possible," she said.