New law passed in honor of child abducted by father in 1995 to prevent parental kidnapping

Saturday, July 1, 2023
Bianca's Law passed with help from mom who found child 26 years later
Deana Herbert found her daughter nearly 30 years later after it was revealed her ex-husband took her to Mexico under false pretenses.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Twenty-eight years after a little girl was abducted by her father and raised secretly in Mexico, a new state law is named in her honor.

Bianca's Law was passed this session to expand prosecution against parents who break child custody orders and take children out of Texas.

"Amazing and awesome and exciting," Deana Herbet, the mother behind the state law change, said.

ORIGINAL REPORT: Mother finds daughter 26 years after abduction, now fights for new law

The pure joy beaming through her smile, for just a moment, covers up the pain of what she has gone through in the last 25 years.

Her daughter, Bianca Lozano, was just 20 months old when her father picked her up for a court-ordered weekend visitation and never returned.

Juan Lozano secretly raised the child in Mexico under a new name with false papers.

Hebert spent 25 years in agony searching for her daughter before private investigator Mark Stephens found Bianca and her father living near Cancun.

In August 2021, the mother and daughter were reunited in a small Mexican police station where she snapped pictures of Bianca sitting with a translator looking at her baby books.

"It was one of those moments that you see in movies. It doesn't happen in real life," Stephens said.

But the Hollywood ending they were hoping for never happened.

The statute of limitations had run out on Juan's criminal charge - interfering with child custody - and Mexico would not extradite him to Texas.

After their 90-minute meeting, Bianca left the police station with her father.

Since then, Herbert has had no contact with her daughter.

She says Bianca has no access to her own money, car, or internet.

A cell phone Hebert gave her has gone silent, though she still pays for the plan, hoping to keep a line of communication open.

After her daughter was taken a second time, she began another uphill battle - to change Texas law.

In May, she testified in front of the state Senate saying, "Bianca is not free. Bianca left the police station with her abductor that day and is not allowed to contact me. Even though she will be 30 years old this year, she is still his prisoner."

Bianca's Law, formally known as House Bill 3025, was authored by Rep. Cody Vasut (R-25), who pushed to make it a priority in Austin.

"I don't believe anyone should be able to abduct a child and run out the clock, and this helps ensure that that doesn't happen," Vasut said.

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The law removes the statute of limitations for prosecuting someone charged with interfering with a child custody order if they take the child out of the state.

It also expands prosecution for kidnapping a minor to the child's 18th birthday.

The bill passed during its inaugural filing in the state legislature - almost unheard of in Texas.

In fact, Vasut, a steadfast Republican, says he partnered with one of the most liberal Democrats in the House, Rep. Ana-Maria Ramos, to pass this bill.

"So that should tell you all you need to know about where Texas elected officials stand on kidnapping and hurting children," he said.

Although she has yet to save her daughter, Deana Hebert has hope this bill will help save other children.

"Because I know the pain that all the parents go through that have missing kids. It's really awful," she said through tears. "Sometimes it feels kind of lonely. You feel like you're the only one, but there's a lot of parents out there in this situation."

Bianca's Law takes effect September 1.

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