As a young boy, David Amaya was told that his mother abandoned him in Mexico and fled for the United States.
The truth is that Kathy Amaya has been looking for David for more than 30 years. She told KNSD this week that David -- now 37 -- is back in the country after her estranged husband abducted him and took him to Mexico when he was a young child.
"I went to file a report, and they were saying they couldn't do anything because he was in Mexico," Kathy told WEAU.
She said she never gave up the search and hopes to finally be able to see him in person -- as a man.
She explained that her ex picked up little David from her sister in Chicago and never returned. Decades later, she got an unlikely call.
"The border patrol in San Diego called me and told me that they had someone detained that was crossing the border and he said his name was David Amaya," she told WEAU.
David reportedly tried to cross back into the United States on Oct. 30, but border patrol agents didn't believe that he was born in Chicago. He was detained for several days, according to the New York Daily News. He was eventually able to prove his citizenship with a birth certificate and a call to Kathy.
David told KNSD that he was "so emotional" that he cried when he learned his mother had been looking for him all this time. He's currently in San Diego to raise money to visit his mother and siblings in Wisconsin. He says that he only saw his father a few times since he was dropped off in Mexico as a boy.
A local pastor organized a phone call between David and his mother through a translator, which she said was "amazing."
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly described David Amaya as a toddler when he was abducted. He was 7.