Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


Teen Who Went Missing Four Years Ago is Reunited With Family

Photo by nicadlr via the LAist Featured Photos pool
Support your source for local news!
Today, put a dollar value on the trustworthy reporting you rely on all year long. The local news you read here every day is crafted for you, but right now, we need your help to keep it going. In these uncertain times, your support is even more important. We can't hold those in power accountable and uplift voices from the community without your partnership. Thank you.

After not seeing her daughter for four years, a Ventura County mom and her child have been reunited.The Ventura County Star reports that Chioma Gray was 15 when Andrew Joshua Tafoya, then 20, pulled up to her high school, gathered her into a car, and took off for Mexico. The two had dated before, and Tafoya had been released from prison the night before after serving time on charges of statutory rape. The charges sprang from sexual relations with Gray.

Francine Black, Gray's mother, would later discover that Gray and Tafoya were living together in Acapulco, Mexico, where he was teaching snorkeling and she was working as a waitress.

But until then, Black reportedly couldn't locate Gray and heard nothing about the teen's whereabouts. Black hired a private investigator and filed lawsuits against Tafoya and his parents, and at one point, she was told by authorities that unrecognizable, charred remains found in Tijuana were those of her daughter.

Chioma was returned to the U.S. after Black got a phone call from Tafoya in early September, saying that Chioma was in trouble. U.S. Marshals became involved, and both Tafoya and Chioma were returned to the U.S. They landed at LAX last night.

Support for LAist comes from

KTLA reports that Tafoya will likely be booked in Ventura County, and it's unclear what charges he'll face.

Most Read