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American Teen Returns to US After Mistaken Deportation

Jakadrien Turner, 15, arrives at DFW Airport in Fort Worth, Texas, Friday, January 6, 2012.
Jakadrien Turner, 15, arrives at DFW Airport in Fort Worth, Texas, Friday, January 6, 2012.

An American teenager who was deported to Colombia after claiming to be an illegal immigrant has returned to the United States.

The 15-year-old girl arrived Friday evening in her home state of Texas. Jakadrien Turner was immediately escorted off the plane for questioning by immigration officials, before being reunited with her family.

Turner - who is said to be pregnant - was deported to Bogota, Colombia, in May 2011 after maintaining that she was a 21-year-old Colombian woman.

Her identity was never questioned by a U.S. judge or Colombian officials, although the girl does not speak Spanish. Authorities in Bogota are now investigating how she obtained verification for a temporary passport as well as work authorization in the South American country.

Turner's mother, grandmother and security personnel huddled around the teen as hordes of media greeted them as they left the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport in Texas on Friday night.

Her attorney said the family would not be making any statements, but were happy to have their daughter home.

Turner ran away from home in late 2010. Last April, she was arrested in Houston, Texas for theft. Throughout the criminal proceedings, she claimed to be Tika Lanay Cortez, a native of Colombia.

Authorities say the teen was fingerprinted, and interviewed and that her name was run through an immigration and customs database to determine her immigrant status.

After reporting the teen missing, her family says they found Turner through her Facebook page, in cooperation with police. Colombian authorities had placed her in a government protection program after being tipped off that she may be an American citizen.

Turner's case has triggered a firestorm of questions around how a minor convinced U.S. and Colombian authorities that she was an illegal immigrant.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.