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Mónica de León Barba (FBI announcement)


In a recent turn of events, the case of Monica De Leon Barba, a Californian resident kidnapped in Mexico, has captured the attention of the media and investigators alike. We at LOI Investigations, a London-based private investigator agency, were approached by a journalist from Newsweek, seeking expert insights on Monica’s disappearance and subsequent release. In this blog post, we will delve into the complexities surrounding this distressing case and offer a balanced analysis based on our extensive experience, including insights from our boss, Mr. Gavin Burrows, who has firsthand experience with kidnapping.

The Enigma of Monica De Leon Barba’s Kidnapping

Monica De Leon Barba’s kidnapping occurred on November 29, 2022, in Tepatitlán, Jalisco, Mexico, while she was walking her dog home from work. Such occurrences are regrettably common in the region, leading to speculation about possible links to drug cartels. Nevertheless, it is crucial to approach the situation with caution, considering that criminal organizations generally avoid targeting civilians, instead focusing on their rivals and law enforcement authorities.

An Alternate Scenario: The Role of “Bored Sicarios”

While cartel involvement remains a possibility, an alternate perspective posits that the abduction might have been carried out by “bored sicarios” seeking financial gains. Initially motivated by monetary interests, these individuals may have found themselves in a precarious position when Monica’s disappearance drew extensive attention and international pressure. As a result, their higher-ups might have made the decision to release her to avoid further scrutiny.

Retrieving Victims from Foreign Countries: A Daunting Task

Recovering kidnapping victims from foreign countries is an intricate and challenging endeavor. Jurisdictional issues, varying legal systems, and language barriers create significant hurdles for law enforcement agencies. Cooperation and coordination between authorities from different nations are essential for a successful rescue operation. Private investigator agencies like LOI often provide crucial expertise and resources to assist in such complex international cases.

The Psychological Toll of Long-Term Kidnappings

Victims of long-term kidnappings endure severe emotional and psychological trauma. Initially, they may experience fear and anxiety, but as time goes on, some victims may develop coping mechanisms to adapt to their circumstances. Stockholm syndrome, a psychological response where victims develop empathy and sympathy towards their captors, is a phenomenon that can occur in such cases. Support from professionals, family, and friends is critical for victims to recover from the harrowing experience.

Gavin Burrows’ Personal Experience

Our boss, Mr. Gavin Burrows, brings a unique perspective to this case, having been a victim of kidnapping himself 26 years ago during a sensitive investigation. His personal experience has shown how empathetic communication and understanding with captors played a crucial role in his eventual release. His firsthand knowledge emphasizes the importance of considering the complex emotional dynamics that can emerge during prolonged abductions.


The mysterious case of Monica De Leon Barba, kidnapped and later released after eight months, remains a subject of interest and concern. As private investigators, we understand the importance of approaching such cases with diligence and objectivity. While the possibility of cartel involvement cannot be ruled out, considering the complexities of the region, an alternate scenario involving “bored sicarios” also merits consideration. The efforts of law enforcement agencies and private investigators in retrieving victims from foreign countries cannot be understated, requiring collaboration and expertise. Our hearts go out to Monica De Leon Barba and her family, and we hope that her story will serve as a reminder of the importance of addressing the plight of kidnapping victims worldwide.