Sunday, July 8, 2012

Americans Kidnapped in Mexico: Chioma Gray and Andrew Joshua Tafoya


Chioma Gray was just 14 years old when she disappeared. She was very close to her family. She was especially close to her mom Francine Black. She was known as  pretty petite African American girl at Tacoma high. She didn't seem to show interest in boys too much, however after a few months her grades started to decline. Her mother wondered what was wrong. Her school coach called her mother to tell her that Chioma had disappeared at school for a while, but was later found with a 20 year old man named Andrew Joshua Tafoya. Francine was shocked and horrified that this relationship was going on. She told  her daughter and Tafoya that the relationship had to end immediately. Chioma promised her mother that she would stop seeing him, but her behavior escalated even more. Chioma started skipping school to spend time with Tafoya. Finally, Francine decided that it was time to have a talk with both Joshua Tafoya and his mother. His mother said she didn't know that she was only 14. Francine Black decided to press charges against Andrew Joshua Tafoya, and he was arrested and sentenced to only 6 months in jail. Her mother was hoping that he would be registered under Megan's law, but he was ineligible. Tafoya told everyone who would listen that he was completely in love with Chioma, and that he wanted to spend his life with her. Francine, for the meantime, felt safe that Tafoya was out of their lives....or so she thought.



On Thursday, December 13, Chioma got ready for school, and she left as normal.  Her mother remembered how beautiful she looked that morning. But, at 3:00 in the afternoon, when Chioma's brother went to pick her up from school she was not there. The high school surveillance video showed Tafoya's car pulling up near the school. The police were informed that Josh had failed to return from work furlough, had stolen a car, and then disappeared. An arrest warrant was issued for Joshua. They later learned that the stolen car had been tracked at least five hours into Mexico. When her mother was told that the car had crossed the border into Mexico, she felt that her life was over. The police reached out to the Mexican police for assistance in located the missing African American.  In desperation, Frances Black drove to San Diego, parked her car, and walked across the Mexican border. But, she could find no sign of them. She was told by a Mexican police that charred remains were found of an African American woman in Mexicali, and that they believed that it was Chioma.

In 2008,  a tourist saw a girl working as a waitress in Acapulco. The woman recognized that she was American and struck up a conversation with her. The girl identified herself as Chioma. The woman became curious about the young girl and decided to look her up on line. To her surprise she found that Chioma was the missing American girl so she contacted the police. However, the police were not able to locate her in Acapulco. A year later, Francine was talking to a friend who was a private investigator named Chuck Hookstra about her daughter's case. He decided to help locate her for free. Hookstra crossed the border into Mexico, and located a woman who knew them both. He learned that they were a couple, and that they had worked there several months earlier. They left the area because Chioma was pregnant and wanted to return to the U.S to have the baby. The case went cold until in 2010 when Los Angeles-based attorney M. Cristina Armenta heard about the case and wanted to help.


  She looked over Hookstra's documented information about the case, and launched her own investigation. Armenta decided that the family needed to file a civil suit against Tafoya and his parents because she had reason to believe that Tafoya's family had been helping him. In September 2011, out of the blue, Francine received a phone call from Joshua Tafoya. He told her that Chioma was fine, but that she needed to come to Mexico to get her. He told her that he would call her the next day, but he did not call. The FBI was contacted to assist in the case ad the U.S Marshals finally located Chioma and brought her back to he U.S. When she returned she didn't say much about what happened. She stated that she didn't want to talk about it, but later admitted that she left with him willingly. The happy reunion was short lived. Chioma moved out of her mothers house and into the parents of Tafoya at that time. I'm not sure where she is living at this time. Joshua was sentenced to two years in prison.

29 comments:

  1. just watched this on disappeared. Sad story. I want to know where she is

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  2. What a disgusting freak. I hope they keep that sick f*** in jail for life and jail all his family. They should all be ashamed of themselves. Aiding and abetting a child rapist. Freaks. I hope they know what sick f***s they all are.

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  3. Two young people fell in love and ran away. Statutory rape. They are still together now Chioma is old enough. When I was young we left school at 15 normally married at 16. goodness I am so glad I am not young in this crazy world.

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    1. Yeah really I think it's an awesome story and I am proud for Both of them!

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    2. The kid has no education..is estranged from her family. It is an awesome story??? Really? Yours must be even worse!

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    3. The pain they caused the family is horrific! Shame on them both.

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    4. Its there family's faught they should have just left them alone

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    5. If that were your daughter neither of you would be so supportive of this. The pain that mother went through.

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    6. Chioma is my cousin. She fell in love and risked everything to be with her soulmate. They are still together today happily married and just welcomed a beautiful baby girl to the family

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    7. LOL happily married by a$$!!.. I knew Josh for about 6 months and I actually found out about his past quickly after meeting him. What I witnessed is terrible. He clearly controls that young girl. They would fight often and he was an incredible manipulator. He would verbally abuse her on the phone and threaten her. This man kidnapped a 14 year old girl, and raped her when she was 13. HE was 20-21 years old. I have 3 teenage daughters. I can ASSURE you, there is no such thing as love at that age. They can not comprehend love or realize the severity or consequences of their actions. They are easily manipulated and highly vulnerable. They crave attention and will do anything to fit in. They are CHILDREN. A 13-14 year old cannot make distinctions about love, play, curiosity, and lust at that age. A grown man was manipulating and coaching her. She was indoctrinated. He took this child away from everyone she knew by herself, and isolated her in a foreign country and impregnated her. She was trapped and he had all the control. To this day she is clearly controlled by him and this is even more obvious by the fact that she is kept away and stays away from the family who truly cares about her. Stop trying to justify pedophilia, by calling it love. It is not REAL love. I have first hand seen girls taken at 13, and not realize their relationship with these older men was a sham until they were much much older sometimes in their upper 30's even. This is how long the indoctrination, control, and manipulation of a young child can last. And this is what makes it so hard because the young child will defend her abuser. I wish Chioma the best and hope she realizes she has a family who truly cares about her, and that if Josh truly cared about her, he would have never kidnapped her and stolen her from her family at 14 years old. This is not the action of someone who loves you. He has now caused irreparable damage between her and her family that can never be undone and destroyed her innocence as a child. He should have been given a long jail sentence. Instead he is given such little time that the victim cannot heal and the abuser can get right out and be right back in the same situation. Something needs to change in the legal system. Less than 2 years jail time for abducting and raping a child. Sad stuff. Is Chioma really happy right now? No one but Chioma knows deep down, but it sure as heck doesn't look like it from the outside.

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    8. I agree with you wholeheartedly. He is a pedophile and he destroyed her childhood. I don't understand where the people who call this love see a love story. He took a 14 y/of child from school. Think people. She only had a 7th or 8th grade education. He was had already graduated high school and went to college. So she does not deserve the same?? But now they have a daughter. What if a older man does the same to their daughter when she is thirteen (rapes her) say it's love. Pursues her at 14 and forces her into a relationship and then alienatesome her family; runs away to a foreign country and married at 15. I wonder how he will review the love story then. She didn't get to have her real teenage years and she was taken from her family. He brain washed her to believe her family must not cared about her. This is sad, very sad. My heart goes out to her mother and family for all those years of not knowing anything but his family did all along. If it was anot African American man and a Caucasian girl I guarantee you the storyline would have ended differently.

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  4. How do you know they are married and ok? Are you holding out information? Her family is looking for peace, if their daughter came home happily married her family may accept them, but at least they'd knoelw.

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    1. She is on Facebook under Chioma Aao Tafoya

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    2. She's home and she's fine.

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    3. They have daughter and married they are on youtube josh shared his story

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  5. She's home, safe, happily married to the man with a baby. The story started off bad but ended up being ok

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  6. Does she have a relationship with her family? I pray that they were able to reconnect.

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    1. I pray for this family too. I looked her up on fb and she is married to him. She seems to be happy. Has a beautiful baby. All her post appear that she is a Christian or has some higher power she has strong faith in. The heartache that her family went through is just unbelievable. I pray they can forgive her and his family cause this was very selfish.

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    2. To honest i believe something was going on before chioma meet josh i mean within the family

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    3. To honest i believe something was going on before chioma meet josh i mean within the family

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    4. By all accounts she came from a loving family. She was a straight A student and her mother was very protective. As ANY mother would be.

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  7. Inconsiderate ungrateful little hoe thank god i don't have a daughter

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  8. I saw Chioma's daddy on "Disappeared" and he looks like a big man. I am wondering why daddy doesn't kick Tafoya's ass just for the pleasure of it? So what? He ends up paying a $500.00 fine. Hell, I would gladly pay five times that much just for the pleasure that I would get out of it.

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    1. 1. Josh was not young, he was 20-21... 2. That was not love. She was a child. a 13-14 year old does not know what love is. They may be curious and lustful thanks to puberty, but their brains are not even developed. A child cannot make these adult decisions at this age. The other problem, is that a child of 14 is highly impressionable, vulnerable, and easily manipulated at that age, especially by older men. She may have had a crush on him and liked him, but it was not love. They did not even know each other for long. And from the 6 months I knew Josh and what I saw of his behavior and interactions with Chioma, they are clearly far from happily married, and what was clear was his control of Chioma and his authority. This is a scary thing. It is quite possible that she is still under his grasp and manipulation. She was most likely indoctrinated, as she was kidnapped and help in Mexico away from everyone she knew for such a long time. There he was in full control and could do whatever he pleased with her without worry of Authorities. We have no clue what this did to her psychologically. And of course having a child by him makes her even more controlled by him. I feel she never really had a choice. Once she was taken to Mexico, there was no turning back, as she lived in a foreign country where she had no one to reach out to. There is no proof what exactly took place down there, but what is factual is that she was a 14 year old child and he was a grown man at 21. This is no love story.

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  11. I think they really felt in love. I know people that have fallen in love at a very young age and stay together for their whole life. I feel sorry for her family for going thru all that. It must be awful when a family member just dissapears without leaving a trace. That was their mistake and probably their only way out because of the rejection from her mother towards their relationship. Other than that, I think her family needs to accept her decisions now as an adult. They look just like any other normal couple

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