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      Call 4 Action: Harlingen Girls "Kidnapped" By Their Mother

      A Harlingen father has turned to Action 4 News in hopes of getting his three daughters back from his ex-wife.

      Jesse Herrera laims his ex-wife picked them up for a regular weekend visit in November but never returned them.

      Christmas presents remain unopened at Herrera's home.

      The gifts belong to his three daughters: 7-year-old Jessica, 9-year-old Ashley and 12-year-old Priscilla.

      This father considers it an act of kidnapping.

      "I love them to death and I TMm going to do everything and anything I can to keep them safe and make sure they have a good life and get raised right and the thing is with me they have a good life with them, they're on the streets she has no place she has no job, Herrera said.

      Herrera was granted primary custody of the girls about four years ago when the girl TMs mother Cynthia Ann Pedraza was convicted on federal immigrant smuggling charges.

      He claims she owes him about $18,000 dollars in child support and was jailed for that over the summer.

      Herrera has reached out to authorities with court orders in hand but investigators told him they cannot get involved because it's a civil matter and she is the biological mother with the right to care for her children.

      "It's a lot of things that the system is failing basically on our side, Herrera said. They are failing us. They're protecting her more than us. It's real stressful knowing your kids are out there you don TMt know where they are at, you don TMt know what's going on.

      Herrera fears his daughters are falling behind in school because their mother withdrew them from the Rio Hondo Independent School District.

      She briefly enrolled them at schools in the San Benito Consolidated Independent School District but Herrera said they only attended school there for two days.

      That's a big part of our thing - education - and she's ignoring that, Herrera said.

      The last time Herrera heard from his daughters was on November 27th when they left him a happy birthday voicemail.

      Herrera is hoping community members will recognize their faces and help him locate his daughters and bring them home ..

      Anyone with information about the whereabouts of his daughters is asked to call Herrera at (956) 264-2877.