Exclusive: Teen released from Tijuana prison after nearly 4 mont - San Diego, California Talk Radio Station - AM 760 KFMB

Exclusive: Teen released from Tijuana prison after nearly 4 months

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - For the first time in nearly four months, 18-year-old Emily Romero is where she belongs, back in her National City home surrounded by loved ones.

Emily was released earlier this week, but four of her friends are still behind bars in Mexico.

Saturday, Romero spoke only to News 8 about her experience in hopes of educating others.

Between August 13th and this past Wednesday, Emily lived in a small cell with 11 other girls inside a Mexican prison.

Back in August, five local girls were dropped off in Mexico by a parent. They were supposed to be picked up the next day. Instead, they were allegedly tricked into borrowing a car without knowing it had been stolen.

A week before the Sweetwater graduate was supposed to start college, Romero and four other friends, two 18-year-olds and two in their early twenties, ventured to Rosarito for a night of innocent fun.

Shortly after arriving, someone is their group met a man, who told them they could borrow his car.

Several hours later, the girls were pulled over and accused of stealing the car. All five were cuffed. One officer asked for money from the girls. Another, attempted to get Emily alone.

The girls refused to comply with their demands, and they were hauled off the prison.

That's when Emily's parents stepped in. They talked to Mexican lawyers, local law enforcement, the U.S. Consulate, anyone who would listen to their story.

After four months of no progress, they finally hired an attorney who found a way to get Emily out.

Emily was released Wednesday and called her dad after crossing over into the U.S.

Now back home, Emily is cherishing the little things. But she hasn't forgotten her four other friends, who are still stuck behind bars.

Emily hopes to share her story with local teens so they can learn about some of the dangers associated with going to Mexico.


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