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Authorities searching for two missing American children last seen in Tijuana

Baja California authorities are asking for the public’s help to locate two missing U.S. citizen children who are believed to be in danger — Juliette Itzel Barrera Garibay, 2, and Sebastián Isaiah Garibay, 6.

The siblings were last seen on Sept. 2 in Tijuana in the company of their mother, Precius Alessandra Kari Garibay. Family members say Alessandra was fatally shot on Sunday night, after dining in Puerto Nuevo, just south of Rosarito.

The Baja California Prosecutor’s Office issued an Amber Alert on Monday afternoon, asking for help finding both children, who U.S. nationals.

According to the authorities, it is feared that they are in danger and could be “victims of a crime, or (have) suffer(ed) damage to their health.”

According to their grandmother, Sebastián and Juliette live in Spring Valley with their maternal grandparents.

Karina Garibay, the mother of Alessandra and grandmother of Sebastián and Juliette, said she believes the children may be with their biological father, who lives in Santee and has family in Tijuana.

“I only want to know that they’re OK,” said Garibay during an interview Tuesday outside the Baja California state prosecutor’s office. “I feel they would be safer on the San Diego side and at home where they live with us and where they know their surroundings. They’re comfortable with us. This is what they know as a family.”

Punto Norte reported Monday that Alessandra was shot with a 9 mm firearm while she was traveling in the passenger seat of a 2016 Chevrolet Suburban, driven by her ex-husband. She was seriously injured and rushed to Hospital General in Tijuana where she was pronounced dead.

The investigative news outlet reported the former couple were on their way back to Tijuana from Puerto Nuevo around 10 p.m. Sunday night when they stopped at the bathrooms at the toll booth on the Escénica toll highway outside of Playas de Tijuana. That’s where the shooting allegedly occurred.

Baja California authorities have not named the victim’s ex-husband as a suspect or person-of-interest in the shooting.

Garibay, the children’s maternal grandmother, said Sebastián has autism and has a hard time communicating with people outside his immediate family.

“So, that’s been another one of my concerns, is that we know him and we know his necessities and the way he communicates best — it’s easier for us to understand him,” she said. She described Juliette as a happy baby and a loving child “who loves to give hugs and kisses.”

About her 21-year-old daughter who died Sunday night, Garibay said she was a very loving mother. She lived at times with her parents and in Chula Vista.

“Her kids were everything to her. She worked hard for them. They were her life,” said Garibay. “She would do anything for her kids.”

Officials described Juliette Itzel Barrera Garibay as having long straight brown hair, a small forehead, small ears, an oval face, an oval chin, semi-bushy eyebrows, a light-brown complexion, a slim face, a small, flat nose, a small mouth, thin lips, and small brown eyes. She is approximately 3 feet tall and weighs about 33 pounds.

Sebastián Isaiah Garibay has short, straight black hair, medium-sized ears, a round face, an oval chin, slanted dark brown eyes, a dark complexion, robust cheeks, and bushy eyebrows, according to a description provided by authorities. He is about 5 feet tall and weighs approximately 130 pounds.

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