Thursday, April 30, 2015

Where Are the Children?

For extortionists, undocumented migrants have become big business.

By Sarah Stillman, The New Yorker
April 27, 2015

The kidnapper sounded polite, even deferential, when she called on a Tuesday afternoon last May. Melida Lemus and Alfredo Godoy had left their clapboard house in Trenton, New Jersey, to pick up their two daughters from school. Godoy, who works in construction, was late to meet a client for whom he was building a home extension, and his family accompanied him to the project site. Melida and the girls—Kathryn, twelve, and Jennifer, seventeen—waited in the client’s living room, snacking on cookies and checking Instagram, while Alfredo walked through the house, taking specs: how much Sheetrock he’d need, how much spackle, how many two-by-fours. In the middle of the tour, his cell phone rang. The call came from a Texas area code.

“Are you the father of two boys?” a woman asked.

“Yes,” Godoy replied. “Is everything O.K.?”

“I have them here at my house,” she said.[...]

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