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Girls abducted by mother

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FERRIS - Two girls were found safe in Dallas after their mother kidnapped them Friday morning, Jan. 12.

Mercedes Pineda, 10, and 15-year-old Monica Pineda of Ferris were taken into protective custody after being found.

Their mother, 31-year-old Debra Pineda, also known as Valencia, was arrested for abducting her daughters.

A hearing was scheduled for Tuesday morning in Dallas to resolve the custody issue.

Stacy Franklin, police chief for the Ferris Independent School District, said the mother did not have custody or visitation rights to her daughters.

Their father 'had custody for quite some time,' Franklin said.

The mother sent Monica Pineda into the Ferris Intermediate School to get her younger sister about 7:45 a.m.

'The big sister did not follow protocol by going to the front office,' Franklin said.

Teachers at the intermediate school generally pick up their students leading them into the classroom between 7:45-8 a.m., according to the school.

It was unknown how or exactly when the mother picked up her oldest daughter.

An Amber Alert was issued for both girls after it was discovered they were missing.

'Our biggest fear was she was going to flee the state,' Franklin said.

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