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Colombian girl reunited with family, but questions remain

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 4:57 PM EDT, Fri October 28, 2011
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Nhora Munoz, 10, was kidnapped for 19 days
  • The girl is back home, but no one has said who took her
  • Her father says the national outcry in Colombia helped her release

Bogota, Colombia (CNN) -- It was front-page news on the websites of all the major Colombian media Tuesday: Nhora Valentina Munoz, the 10-year-old daughter of a town mayor, was back home after a kidnapping that lasted 19 days.

The story of the young kidnapping victim captivated the country for the audacity of the crime as much as the unanswered questions that remain.

Nhora was back home, but it still remains unknown who her captors were or why she was kidnapped.

Her father, Jorge Enrique Munoz, retrieved her from the jungle in the Arauca region of Colombia, where she had been found. He is the mayor of Fortul.

The girl told reporters that her captors had left her on a sidewalk by herself and that local farmers found her and contacted the Red Cross.

"I was praying a lot. I knew things would turn out well," she said.

So far, the Red Cross, the family and authorities have not said who they believe was responsible for her kidnapping on September 29.

The country's two largest guerrilla groups -- the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, and National Liberation Army, or ELN -- are known to target local leaders such as Nhora's father, but both groups have denied involvement in the kidnapping.

Munoz credited the national outcry over the kidnapping as the reason why his daughter was released.

"This pressure and the clamor of the Colombian people resulted in the release of Nhora Valentina without any conditions," he told CNN affiliate Caracol TV.

Nhora also spoke to the station Tuesday.

"I was very happy last night, and I am still happy," she said. "Sometimes I was scared, but I had faith in God and knew that everything would be all right in the end."

She said she was treated well and given food, adding that she missed her parents.

Journalist Fernando Ramos contributed to this report.

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