San Mateo resident Monica De Leon Barba, who was kidnapped in Mexico eight months ago while she was out walking her dog, has been found safe and is coming home, the FBI said Saturday.

In a statement issued on Saturday, officials from San Francisco's FBI division confirmed that De Leon Barba, 29, is currently en route to the U.S. following her release by her unidentified captors.

The agonizing ordeal began on November 29, 2022, when De Leon Barba was last seen being forced into a van while walking home from work with her dog in Tepatitlán, a city about an hour northeast of Guadalajara, as KPIX reported. According to Hoodline, she had grown up and lived most of her life in California, before moving to Mexico to pursue job opportunities in photography.

Shortly after the kidnapping, the FBI launched an investigation into her disappearance. As SFGate reported, FBI agents determined that she was the subject of a “targeted kidnapping” who was abducted by at least 5 people. The FBI had released surveillance videos of the kidnapping and offered a $40,000 reward for information.

Robert K. Tripp, the special agent in charge of the case, said that he felt “relief and joy” at her return.

“The FBI investigation is far from over, but we can now work this case knowing an innocent victim is reunited with her family," Tripp stated. "On behalf of the FBI, I want to extend my sincere thanks to our law enforcement partners, to the family, and to the San Mateo community for their continued engagement and advocacy. They never forgot Monica, and neither did we."

No arrests of her captors have been made yet, but De Leon Barba’s family is grateful. Her older brother made a heartfelt post on Facebook on Saturday expressing his overwhelming excitement upon learning of Monica's return, according to the Chronicle.

"Hello everyone, for the first time in a very long time, we have good news! I need to thank every single person that helped my family and me through this entire ordeal. We can all finally close this chapter in our lives and work on the long road of healing we have ahead. Thank all of you so much," it read.

Feature image of Monica De Leon Barba via FBI.