KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 24 — Argentinian Elizabeth Avalos travelled halfway across the world to get back her six-year-old daughter who was taken from her native country and last spotted in Malaysia earlier this month.
Avalos who came to Malaysia two weeks ago has roped in her country’s embassy to help and together, they came close to catching the man she suspects to have abducted Alum Langone Avalos — Jorge Gabriel Langone, 41, the girl’s father and Avalos’ former partner.
“I want her to know that I love her so much and I am looking for her. I will not give up,” a stricken Avalos told a news conference at the Argentinian Embassy in Menara Keck Seng here today.
According to Avalos, an Argentine court granted her full custody of Alum after she and Langone separated in 2011.
She recalled that Alum turned six last December 12, adding that it was the first time she was not celebrating her daughter’s birthday together.
“Typically we would get her a cake and she would be so happy — she always is. You can see from her picture what a joyful kid she is.
“This year my heart was breaking because I don’t know where she is or if she was eating well. I cried the entire day,” she said as tears began to well up in her eyes.
Avalos also told reporters that her ex-partner had taken Alum away for extended periods of time, including last June 4 for as long a 20 days, despite the court custody.
“He would always do as he pleased. Sometimes he would take her from me for days and I would never knew what happened until he returns her back to me,” she said.
Avalos said the last she had heard, Alum and Langone were with a woman known as Candela Soledad Gutierrez, 35, and were allegedly travelling to Kulai, Johor last month.
She described Langone and his current girlfriend Gutierrez as “manipulative and persuasive”.
“They would introduce themselves as a musician couple: he’s an instrumentalist and she’s an Arabian dancer. They would also introduce themselves as Spaniards,” she said, adding that Langone speaks French, Italian and Portuguese, among several languages.
Argentinian ambassador to Malaysia Manuel Balaguer Salas who was also present said Malaysian authorities have almost nabbed Langone twice based on public information, but the latter managed to elude them both times.
“After we handed out the fliers, we got a call from a man in Kuala Pilah who said that he had offered food and shelter to a man that resembles the man in the fliers but the man has already left for Kulai.
“The second time, investigations revealed that Alum was sent to a kindergarten in Johor for 10 days, so we sent our consulate staff to do further checking.
“They lodged a police report there but once the authorities get to where he was allegedly staying, they were already gone,” the ambassador said.
He added that Argentinian Immigration have cancelled Langone’s passport, which meant the latter was in the country illegally.
“Malaysian authorities can detain him as illegal immigrant and we will deport him back to Argentina, where a legal case has been opened and proceedings await.
“To be able to achieve this, any information from the public about the case will be very much appreciated,” Salas said.
Alum is described as 1.25 metres tall, with dark brown hair and green eyes.
Anyone with information leading to Alum’s location may contact the embassy at +603 21441451 and +6012 2012464.
Avalos can also be reached at +54 113251 8780 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.