US Expat Accused of Abducting Toddler Daughter

By Matthew Bossons, November 28, 2016

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On Sunday, November 20, an American citizen named Alejandro Blanco allegedly abducted his 2-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Isabella Sophia Blanco, while visiting the child in the presence of her mother, according to reports. 

The incident has received widespread coverage in Shenzhen’s Chinese media, with the distraught mother, Claire Hu, making an emotional plea for the public’s help in locating Isabella on a Shenzhen television program called City Discovery

Hu, who is originally from Henan, told That’s that on the day of the incident she had agreed to let Blanco see their daughter for an outdoor playdate at 3pm. After about 20 minutes, Blanco suggested they "get out of the hot sun and go somewhere else." 

The three then took a black taxi to a deserted road, where the car stopped. Hu got out first, followed by Blanco, who told her to get the stroller from the trunk while he paid. When she opened the trunk and her vision was obscured, Blanco hopped back in the private car and sped off with Isabella inside. By 3.30pm Hu was left standing alone on a deserted Futian side street, according to her version of the events.

The separated couple have been married for three years, although they have not been living together for over a year. According to Hu's interview with Shekou Daily, “He hasn't been paying child support so his visitations were limited. I've tried to file for divorce but he refused. In China it's hard without his approval."

Judges in China are often reluctant to grant a divorce if one party objects to it – no matter how long they have been estranged. 

In addition to talking with Hu, Shekou Daily founder Gary Isse also spoke to Blanco, who told him: 

"The fact of the matter is that over the last seven months I've had less than 20 hours of contact with my daughter. We're both still parents. We're not legally divorced. In the best interest of my daughter I decided to take her back from the mother to make sure she's raised in a safe and secure environment. I don't want to add more fuel to the fire. I just think that under my care our daughter will be in a better environment."

The fact she isn’t legally divorced from Blanco means the police have little interest in helping Hu secure the return of her child. Instead, her issue is seen as something for the courts to handle. 

When pressed by Isse as to why he didn’t approve the divorce during the separated couple’s last court appearance, Blanco said: “The court was in her hometown. The judges were very one-sided and I found it very unfair and unjust. In the end they decided we were not to get divorced."

When contacted by That's to inquire about his overdue child support payments, Blanco told us that these allegations are incorrect and that they are intended to slander and defame him before the couple's next court appearance. He also told us what happened was not an abduction. Blanco refused to comment further, stating he would prefer to let the justice system resolve the issue.


Her unsettled divorce with Blanco, coupled with the fact Blanco is allegedly “hiding out” somewhere in Shekou, according to one of Blanco’s coworkers, means Hu may have to wait until her next court appearance – which isn’t until mid-February – to resolve this predicament.

“I have no idea who is looking after my child while he [Blanco] is at work and he’s told nobody and that worries me very much,” said Hu. “Whoever this person is, it is a stranger to her and I am also sure she is also not comfortable with my husband because he has never taken care of her himself. This is the very first time.

“And he is keeping her away from the priority care giver. That's not right.”

[Images via Shekou Daily]

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