Tampa mother's worldwide search for daughter comes to an end - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken News, Weather, Sports

Tampa mother's worldwide search for daughter comes to an end

Posted: Updated:

A mother's worldwide search for her two daughters has finally come to a very happy end this holiday weekend.

Lilly Martin, who says her husband took their two girls to the Middle East decades ago, is finally back with both of them.

"Patience for me....it's the same {as} love. It's the same {as} faith because love gives you patience," Martin said at Tampa International Airport. "Love gives you the faith. Love gives you the hope."

Martin is Catholic with Colombian heritage. Her ex-husband is from the Middle East, Islamic in faith and wanted their girls, Dalal and Lamia to grow up with his beliefs.

"He bought 3 one-way tickets to Syria," Martin said. "Every time I tried to call to Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia … they always hung up on me. Getting communication with the Islamic countries is so difficult."

Eventually Dalal found Lilly on Facebook. She's 25 now. Lamia is 22.

The girls would secretly chat with their mother when they could. Last month, Dalal returned to Tampa, where she plans to stay.

"I'm feeling so good. I'm feeling freedom. I'm so happy because I'm beside my mom," she said Friday morning. "I want to be beside her all my life."

Dalal wants to go to school. She wants to buy a house big enough for the entire family.

The entire family.                 

Until this week, Lamia was the missing piece. She's pregnant and it took some time to make the arrangements, but early Friday morning, she hugged her mom for the first time in 21 years.

"Finally I found my mom," she said after a long, tearful embrace.

Lamia plans to have the baby girl here in the U.S., alongside her mother.

"To feel her happiness...all of her happiness," she said.

See the emotional story Friday at 11:00 on News Channel 8.

 

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Mortgage nightmare for Plant City couple

    Mortgage nightmare for Plant City couple

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 7:57 AM EDT2014-04-16 11:57:42 GMT
    Karl and Vicktoria Hanson thought their foreclosure nightmare was long over. It may be just beginning.
    Karl and Vicktoria Hanson thought their foreclosure nightmare was long over. It may be just beginning.
  • Bradenton massage therapist banned from contact with women by state

    Bradenton massage therapist banned from contact with women by state

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 5:03 PM EDT2014-04-15 21:03:21 GMT
    The Florida Department of Health says it served licensed massage therapist Kevin Joseph Holmes, 60, with an emergency order Tuesday morning that bans him from working with female clients.The Florida Department of Health says it served licensed massage therapist Kevin Joseph Holmes, 60, with an emergency order Tuesday morning that bans him from working with female clients.
    The Florida Department of Health says it served licensed massage therapist Kevin Joseph Holmes, 60, with an emergency order Tuesday morning that bans him from working with female clients.The order says Holmes "unrestricted practice as a massage therapist with female clients constitutes an immediate serious danger to the health, safety, or welfare of the public
    The Florida Department of Health says it served licensed massage therapist Kevin Joseph Holmes, 60, with an emergency order Tuesday morning that bans him from working with female clients.The order says Holmes "unrestricted practice as a massage therapist with female clients constitutes an immediate serious danger to the health, safety, or welfare of the public
  • State takes emergency action against Bradenton massage therapist after 8 On Your Side investigation

    State takes emergency action against Bradenton massage therapist after 8 On Your Side investigation

    Monday, April 14 2014 7:09 PM EDT2014-04-14 23:09:06 GMT
    Kevin Holmes, massage therapistKevin Holmes, massage therapist
    According topolice records Kevin Holmes, age 60, toldinvestigators the client he gave a therapeutic massage to last month"was an attractive girl, plain and simple."It turns out she was also an off-duty detective, and Holmes said what he did to her was "absolutely inapproriate."
    According topolice records Kevin Holmes, age 60, toldinvestigators the client he gave a therapeutic massage to last month"was an attractive girl, plain and simple."It turns out she was also an off-duty detective, and Holmes said what he did to her was "absolutely inapproriate."
  • NewsMore>>

  • Student shocked Polk teacher used her name in affair

    Student shocked Polk teacher used her name in affair

    Thursday, April 17 2014 5:43 PM EDT2014-04-17 21:43:59 GMT
    Jessica SeamanJessica Seaman
    A Polk County high school student is trying to clear her name from an ordeal she says her former teacher brought her into. Jessica Seaman says her teacher posed as her in a messaging app and talked to a 17-year-old boy. Now that teacher, 29-year-old Jennifer Fichter, is under arrest, charged with having sex with the teenaged boy.“It's not just that it was my first name, it was my full name,” Seaman said, of what she learned was spelled out on the affidavit describing the relationship between ...
    A Polk County high school student is trying to clear her name from an ordeal she says her former teacher brought her into. Jessica Seaman says her teacher posed as her in a messaging app and talked to a 17-year-old boy. Now that teacher, 29-year-old Jennifer Fichter, is under arrest, charged with having sex with the teenaged boy.“It's not just that it was my first name, it was my full name,” Seaman said, of what she learned was spelled out on the affidavit describing the relationship between ...
  • EXCLUSIVE: St. Pete mom accused of murdering her son talks

    EXCLUSIVE: St. Pete mom accused of murdering her son talks

    Thursday, April 17 2014 5:40 PM EDT2014-04-17 21:40:24 GMT
    It's the jailhouse interview you need to see. A mother accused of stabbing her 4-year-old son to death speaks exclusively to News Channel 8's Melissa Beckman.
    It's the jailhouse interview you need to see. A mother accused of stabbing her 4-year-old son to death speaks exclusively to News Channel 8's Melissa Beckman.
  • Nigerians search unsafe forest for abducted girls

    Nigerians search unsafe forest for abducted girls

    The principal of a northeastern Nigerian school said she cannot confirm a military report that more than 100 female students kidnapped by Islamic militants are free.
    Able-bodied men from the Nigerian town of Chibok have taken to the dangerous Sambisa Forest to search for more than 100 abducted girls and young women whom the military claimed to have freed from their Islamic extremist...
Powered by WorldNow

1336 Augusta West Parkway
Augusta, GA 30909

Telephone: 706.722.6664
Email: talkback6@wjbf.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.