Deported American Teen Intentionally Lied: Officials

US officials say Texas teen maintained false identity to be sent to Colombia
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 6, 2012 6:03 AM CST
Jakadrien Turner, now 15, ran away from home more than a year ago.   (AP Photo/Courtesy of WFAA-TV)
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(Newser) – The Texas runaway who was mistakenly deported to Colombia will be handed over to American authorities today, clearing the way for her return to the US. Officials in both Colombia and the US are investigating how Jakadrien Turner, 15, who is now pregnant, ended up in Bogota, CNN reports. US Immigration and Customs says reports that the teen was deported after giving a name that happened to match that of an illegal alien are untrue.

According to ICE, Turner assumed the identity of a 21-year-old Colombian woman—Tika Lanay Cortez—after being arrested for theft in Houston and told cops she had no legal status in the US, the Washington Post reports. The agency says she went through an entire trial and served time under the fake name, and, despite not speaking Spanish, maintained the false identity during an interview at the Colombian consulate before being deported. Her family's lawyer accuses the agency of "dropping the ball," saying its story doesn't add up. "I don't buy that she had the wherewithal to be able to bamboozle the government," he says. (Read more Jakadrien Turner stories.)

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