New Bedford teenager still missing, man suspected of disappearing in confrontation with US marshals


NEW BEDFORD, Massachusetts – Concern for missing 18-year-old Jalajhia Finklea grows after the man who suspected her more than two weeks ago was shot dead by US marshals in Florida.

Jalajhia’s mother, Amanda Costa, is very worried.

“I’m kind of happy that she wasn’t in the car at that moment,” Costa said to me. “But it’s still scary because now I have absolutely no idea where she is. It just scares me. “

Jalajhia Finklea is a member of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe and lives in New Bedford.

Tribal police say she was kidnapped by Luis Barboza, a man nearly 20 years her senior.

Jalajhia and Barboza’s family tell me they haven’t heard from them since October 20th.

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New Bedford Police are leading the search for Barboza with the help of other law enforcement agencies.

On Thursday morning, while New Bedford investigators were on their way to Florida, US Marshals found Barboza sitting in a car in a McDonald’s parking lot in Crestview, Florida.

In a statement, authorities said Barboza shot US marshals and they returned fire, killing him.

Jalajhia wasn’t in the car with Barboza.

CONNECTED: Concern for the missing New Bedford teenager is growing

“What is on your mind now as you try to find out what happened?” I asked Jalajhia’s mother.

“Is my little girl alive? Is she okay? Will she make it home safely? I just wanna know where she is. And is she sure? ”Amanda Costa told me.

Last week, Videos von Barboza and Jalajhia appeared on his Twitter feed, which caused even more concern among Jalajhia’s family.

Jalajhia’s family told me last week that these videos are out of date but are months old.

Amanda Costa hopes her 18-year-old daughter is still alive and waiting to be found.

“If you could message Jalajhia yourself, what would you say?” I asked.

“Jalajhia, I love you and I miss you and we are looking for you. And trust me. You will come home safely, where you belong, ”said Costa.

If you have any information on this case you should immediately contact the New Bedford Police Department (508) -991-6360.


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