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3-year-old girl kidnapped at gunpoint found unharmed in Mexico

Updated Tuesday, May 10, 2011 | 10:31 a.m.

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Carla Espinosa-Alvarez

The 3-year-old foster child kidnapped at gunpoint Sunday evening from a North Las Vegas home has been found safe in Mexico with her biological mother, police said this morning.

Authorities said they worked with the Mexican Consulate to confirm Carla Espinosa-Alvarez's whereabouts. She was unharmed, police said.

Espinosa-Alvarez lived with her foster family in the 100 block of Rosa Rosales Court near Commerce Street and West Lone Mountain Road.

According to her foster mother, at about 9:30 p.m. Sunday, a masked man and woman knocked at the front door of the home. After being tricked into opening the front door, the foster mother was held at gunpoint by a man while the woman searched the home for Espinosa-Alvarez, police said.

She found the child upstairs, police said, and carried her out of the house.

Both the man and woman were described as Hispanic, about 5-feet-6-inches tall with black hair and brown eyes. They were dressed in all black with brown masks or bandanas over their faces. They both spoke fluent Spanish, police said.

Police said Espinosa-Alvarez's biological mother, 30-year-old Maria Espinosa-Alvarez of Mexico, had made threats to take her daughter out of the foster home, where Carla lived for the past seven months.

Witnesses told police they saw a suspicious white luxury sedan with dark tinted windows in the area just before the kidnapping.

Authorities said the investigation is ongoing regarding the girl's kidnapping and discussions are under way to determine where she will reside for the time being.

Police spokeswoman Chrissie Coon said officials were relieved to find Carla unharmed, but many unanswered questions remain.

"It's not over," she said, referring to the case. "If anything, it's just beginning."

Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact the North Las Vegas Police Department at (702) 633-1390.

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