Updated at 9:10 p.m. ET Feb. 3: The Associated Press reports that the Dallas teenager who was deported to South America under a false name never expressed concern during jailhouse phone calls that she was being misidentified as an illegal immigrant from Colombia.
More from the AP story:
The more than two dozen recorded telephone calls reviewed by The Associated Press show 15-year-old Jakadrien Turner expected to be deported to Colombia yet did not complain of having no ties to the country.
Instead, during several conversations she had with two men she identified herself as Tika Lanay Cortez and discussed renewing her green card and having her passport and Colombian identification card sent to authorities.
Yet, Turner claimed in a recent TV interview that she repeatedly tried to convince authorities she had lied when she initially identified herself to Houston police as Cortez, a 21-year-old Colombian national, after being arrested for shoplifting.
Original post: Jakadrien Turner has a message for other girls thinking about running away from home: It’s just not worth it.
Jakadrien Turner sasy she's glad to be back home in the U.S.
The 15-year-old Texas girl, who left her family, got arrested for shoplifting and then was mistakenly deported to Colombia, admits her nightmarish ordeal was partially her own doing.
"I made a lot of horrible mistakes, did a lot of things I'm not proud of," Jakadrien told Dallas TV station WFAA on Thursday.
Jakadrien's saga began when she ran away from home more than a year ago. Houston police said the girl was arrested on April 2, 2011, for misdemeanor theft in that city and claimed to be Tika Lanay Cortez, a Colombian woman born in 1990.
She was deported to Colombia in May and apparently spent eight months there before she was returned to her family in Texas.
She says she tried to tell Houston police when she was in jail that she was really Jakadrien Turner, but they wouldn't believe her.
"It's like the story of the boy that cried wolf. I've lied multiple times before. I've never been honest. I've made a lot of stories up. I made the name up 'Tika Cortez,'" Jadadrien told WFAA. "But at a certain point, I just gave up because I said it multiple times: 'I'm Jakadrien Turner, I'm 15 years old, and why am I here?'"
The girl was given Colombian citizenship upon arriving in that country, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement official has said.
According to the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the girl was enrolled in the country's "Welcome Home" program after she arrived. She was given shelter, psychological assistance and a job at a call center, a statement from the agency said.
Jakadrien was flown back to the U.S. and reunited with her family on Jan. 6.
Jakadrien says she doesn’t want people to feel sorry for her. She just wants to share story in hopes of warning other girls of the dangers of running away.
"Hopefully my story will help them to realize that they need to go back home,” she told WFAA.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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