In cell phone video captured at the Mexico City airport March 12, Lorena Laurnaga cannot stop hugging her 8-year-old son Timothy.
Lorena Laurnaga said, "I didn't know where he was, if he was eating well, if he was mistreated by family, or maybe if he was sick. I went through a lot."
In September of 2005, Timothy's father, Jaime Torres left their Avenal apartment, telling Lorena he was taking him to the park. Instead, authorities say, Torres brought Timothy to live with his grandmother in Mexico. That's the first place Kings County detectives asked Mexican authorities to look, but the search turned up empty.
"And after that, the case kinda fell dead."
Keith Prewitt is an investigator with the Kings County District Attorney's office, and has been working the case since the very beginning. He says things finally turned around in October of last year when Timothy's dad was spotted in New Jersey. From there, things moved quickly. Torres was arrested and helped detectives locate his son, who was still in Mexico. Prewitt says the boy had a picture of his mother and had been asking about her for years.
Keith Prewitt said, "He was looking to meet his mother and he was very excited about it."
Now back in Avenal, that excitement hasn't faded. Timothy is being re-acquainted with his three half-brothers.
But, Lorena says, the most important lesson to teach her son is how much he's loved, and was missed for all those years.
"He loves to be with me, he's attached to me now, ha."
For those seven years, Lorena never moved or changed her phone number, hoping he would come back. Timothy's father took all of his baby pictures, so the only photo she had this whole time was a computer generated one from missing and exploited children.