HOUSTON (KTRK) --A Houston-area mother has been reunited after nearly two years with her young daughter.
"She called me 'mommy.' It makes my heart melt," she said.
The girl, now 6, was taken by her biological father, who fled with her to New Mexico, after some other children allegedly told authorities that Anthony Castaneda had sexually assaulted them.
He was charged in November with three separate cases of sexual assault of a child. By then, Castaneda and his daughter were out of the state.
The child's mother, who is married now, had shared custody, but Castaneda didn't like her new husband. She said he denied her visitation, and with no money for an attorney, she said she didn't stand a chance in court.
She reported her child was missing, but she said there seemed to be no rush by law enforcement to pursue the case.
"I felt like I was on my own," she said.
She turned to social media, and at one chance encounter with us, she turned over wanted posters she had circulated.
That resulted in a story aired just over 2 weeks ago. On January 27, Castaneda was arrested by federal authorities as he clocked in to work in Las Cruces, New Mexico. He is being held without bond.
Best of all, the daughter was taken from her temporary guardian in Las Cruces, and returned to her mother.