Take a look at Mystic (pronounced Mystique) Dawn Salazar. She may very well be in your neighborhood but all is not well with this poor little girl. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children list her as missing by way of "family abduction." Her biological father, Enrique Arreolo-Lopez and his wife Melissa snatched her from a stable family environment to a life on the run. It all went down in Mesa County, Colorado on August 17. That's the last day Jennifer Davis, the woman Mystic knows as "mom" saw the 6-year-old.
Complicated and convoluted doesn't begin to explain the young girl's life. She was born May 23, 2002. Her mother Twalla is the ex-wife of Jennifer's husband Amie. According to Jennifer, Twalla made an arrangement with Enrique after getting out of prison to get pregnant with the hopes of getting Amie back into her life--a "no strings attached" bio dad. Twalla did get pregnant but her attempt at getting Amie back didn't work. At the same time, Jennifer was also pregnant. She arranged her pre-natal visits around Twalla's so she could drive her to and from the doctors.
When Mystic was born, Twalla brought her directly to Jennifer. While Twalla didn't give up custody, she would frequently bring the baby over to be cared for by Jennifer and Amie, who assumed the dad role in her life. Two years later, Twalla's parole ended and, according to Jennifer, started to disappear for stretches of time. "She'd drop her off in the morning and say she'd be back after work to pick Mystic up and then we wouldn't see her for days or weeks. In April 2007, I got a call from Twalla saying she had been arrested and was in jail. Mystic had been living with us full time the past 4 months." At the time, Mystic was 4 and Twalla had already signed over power of attorney's to us giving us guardianship for 6 month periods of time. And then she'd disappear. But we never thought twice because to us, Mystic is family, she's our daughter."
Twalla remained in jail for 6 months. "When she was released, we filed a petition for custody with the courts. Twalla had been arrested for aggrevated assault and we couldn't have Mystic living in that environment. At that point, we didn't know the bio dad's name. We knew nothing about him. Twalla said that her arrangement with him was to get her pregnant and that he'd never be a part of Mystic's life. She also said he had been deported to Mexico. When we filed the petition, we found out he hadn't been deported and was still working at the restaurant where he met Twalla. This man, of course, is Enrique Arreolo-Lopez and he was married and had a son. In fact, Twalla filed a child support petition against him and was collecting thousands while Mystic was in the care of Jennifer and Amie. Eventhough he was paying, Enrique never tried to see Mystic."
In February 2008, Jennifer and Amie went before a judge for the first time to get custody. "The judge granted Twalla visitation which included 2 hours for lunch and 2 hours for dinner 'at her discretion'. Enrique was to have no contact with Mystic until he had parenting introduction therapy. After that, if he chose to see Mystic, it had to be during a supervised therapeutic session. A legal representative was appointed to the child by the judge."
In April, Mystic met Enrique for the first time--an hour and a half session with a therapist. "For some reason, the therapist found it necessary to include Twalla in the session, but I was not allowed to be in the building," Jennifer said. There were three other sessions and then the counselor agreed to allow unsupervised visits.
"On the very first unsupervised visit with Enrique, they brought Mystic home wrapped in a fleece coat wearing a t-shirt and nothing else. They said she peed her pants during the visit. As they (Enrique and his wife, Melissa) were taking her out of the car in front of our house, with neighbors standing around, Melissa yelled, 'Maybe next time we can have a change of clean clothes in case she pees herself again.' Mystic looked mortified."
Enrique would take Mystic for about 9 hours on Sundays. "When she'd come home, she'd be withdrawn and would get aggressive with the other kids," Jennifer said.
All 5 Salazar children last Christmas (Mystic is girl on the right)
In all likelihood, Mystic Salazar is relatively safe. This is not a high profile missing children's case like Caylee Anthony in Florida. But relatively safe and safe are two different things. Mystic was abducted by her biological father--a man who had nothing to do with her for most of her life. And Jennifer Davis, the woman Mystic knows as mom is trying desperately to find her. While a judge says Mystic should be with Jennifer and her husband Amie in Mesa County, Colorado, law enforcement disagrees. Why? Because the bio dad, Enrique Arreolo-Lopez fled before he was served with the legal papers. And no one knows where he is.
The courts did grant Enrique and his wife Melissa visitation rights and those visits affected 6-year-old Mystic. "She would have nightmares after visits," Jennifer said. "She'd come into our room and crawl into bed with us. And that was not typical of Mystic. Sometimes she'd come home after a visit and was starving." At just 3'3 and 35 pounds, Jennifer said Mystic typically "eats like a bird." "On two different occasions, she came back from 9 hour visits saying she didn't eat at all. She said it was because her other daddy said there wasn't enough money for food today." Following those visits, Mystic would come home and eat as much as she usually ate in a day in one sitting. She was that hungry.
"We would tell the counselor this and telling him something wasn't right. Instead the counselor pushed for more visits. Another counselor pushed for Mystic to spend Labor Day Weekend with Enrique. Enrique had been providing the counselor with pictures of a smiling Mystic. We saw the pictures and pointed out they were from Chucky Cheese. What child isn't going to have a good time there? Another picture was at her birthday party where she was given a lot of gifts. We pointed out to the counselor that they were the Disneyland parents. They get to come in and do all the fun stuff for one day. But they don't deal with the day to day life."
It would get worse.
"Shortly before they took her, she came home from a visit with a red mark across her throat. This was during a visit they weren't supposed to have. They showed up unannounced at Mystic's baseball game and freaked her out. She started screaming and crying. She told Amie she didn't want to go, holding onto him. Enrique and Melissa were trying to force her to go. So we compromised. We asked Mystic if it would be ok if they all had lunch together. After lunch I walked Mystic over to Enrique's car and told her it would be ok and to go have fun with daddy. Later that afternoon, when they returned her to us, she had what looked like a ligature mark across her throat. I asked her what happened and she said, 'mommy, I don't know.' She said she forgot. You could tell she was real shy about it. I called Enrique when Mystic was out of earshot and Melissa answered the phone. She wouldn't let me talk to him. I asked her what happened and she said Mystic didn't have that mark when she was dropped off. We took pictures and gave them to the counselor and the attorneys involved with her case. Nothing happened."
In early August, the attorney assigned to Mystic came to Jennifer and Amie's for a home visit. While he was there, Twalla showed up to pick up Mystic for lunch. The attorney told her that she could only take Mystic for lunch but not dinner because it was too much for her.
"When Twalla brought Mystic back after lunch she said she would be back for dinner," Jennifer said. "When I reminded her what the attorney said, she cussed me out and said I screwed up and would never see Mystic again. The next day, Enrique had his visit with Mystic. Things were kind of weird because they showed up in a new vehicle--a minivan. When they dropped her off at our meeting place near a grocery store, they pulled around to a gas station and left their van near the pumps where we couldn't see it. They walked Mystic across the parking lot to me. The very next weekend, August 17, Mystic freaked out while I tried to get her ready to go for her weekly visit. She was screaming and crying and refused to get into the shower. She cried the whole way from our house to the store where we were meeting Enrique. The visit was supposed to be from 9:30 to 5:30. I showed up at 9:20 and we sat there waiting. I sat in the back of our van with Mystic holding her because she was crying. I was trying to reassure her that she would go and have fun. At 9:45, I decided to pull away figuring Enrique wasn't going to show. Then I had second thoughts because I thought that if I prevented the visit, we'd lose Mystic. So I stopped and waited for about another 10-15 minutes. Then Enrique came walking up with his son Manuel. There was no vehicle in sight. He said Melissa was at the counselor's signing papers. I had to literally pry Mystic's arms off of me because she was screaming that she didn't want to go. Enrique walked away with her and Mystic turned back to me a yelled, 'mommy, I love you can I have a hug?' Enrique let her give me a hug and I told her I loved her and that when she came home, we'd get ready for her first day of school the next day. They walked away and that was the last time I've seen her."
That night, Jennifer returned to the meeting place to pick up Mystic. She waited from 5:25 until 7:55. "I waited. I didn't leave that spot. I called Enrique's phone and it went straight to voicemail. I called the attorney and the counselor emergency number. I finally got a call back from the counselor's business partner and she said the counselor had been out of town for the past couple of days. What we found out later was that Melissa had dropped off her two children with their dad because he had custody. He said when she dropped them off, the van they were driving was loaded down with their stuff. They told him they were moving to Texas and they'd be back every 6 weeks to see the kids. She said she was going to nursing school. We also found out that although she had been telling people she was a nurse and worked in a doctors' office, she was, in fact, a receptionist, not a nurse. We also found out she had been arrested 10 years ago for shoplifting and using her children to do it which is why she lost custody."
The Mesa County Sheriff's Office doesn't think a crime was committed. "They said, because Enrique is her biological father, he has every right to have her. When we showed them the minute orders from court, the deputy asked me 'how do I know you didn't type that up on your own computer?' I couldn't believe it. There was a possible sighting of Mystic in town back in September. When I called the sheriff's office, they said there was no crime and they couldn't do anything. Mystic's court appointed attorney won't return our calls."
Two days after Enrique vanished with Mystic, the court issued an order that authorizes law enforcement to turn Mystic over to Jennifer and Amie if she's found and granting legal custody to them. "Law enforcement here in town say it's not valid," Jennifer said. "Because Enrique hasn't been served with it."
Enrique, as you recall, fled town and no one knows where he is. So, a technicality, and lack of common sense is keeping Mystic on the run. Jennifer, Amie and her family aren't sitting back. They are doing all they can trying to overcome the law enforcement obstacles and trying to find their little girl. Without the help of police makes it that much more difficult.
You can help if you spot her. Call any of these numbers immediately and help get Mystic home where she belongs.
L.E.A. - Mesa County Sheriff Dept.
Telephone Number - (970) 244-3500
ID Info - Mystic is a bi-racial, white/Hispanic female, 3' 3" tall, weighs 35 pounds, has straight light brown hair and green eyes. She has a silver bottom tooth, and her ears are pierced.
Circumstances - Mystic may be in the company of her non-custodial father, an adult female, and a male child. They may be traveling in a gold 2000 Chrysler Voyager with Colorado license plates 355SGZ.
|If you see this missing child or know where he or she is located, please contact the Child Protection Education of America, Inc. at (866)USA-CHILD or the law enforcement agency above.|
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Beautifully written by Holliston of ZeroGossip.Com