The family and friends of a Laval, Que., man who is missing in Mexico have new hope after his dog, Maya, was found alive.
Marc Ménard was last heard from on March 14, when he emailed his family and friends to say he was in the border town of Nuevo Laredo and on his way back to Canada.
Ménard, 44, was wrapping up a three-month road trip in Mexico with his basset hound.
No one has heard from him since.
Nuevo Laredo is notorious for its drug-cartel-related crime. It’s also home to Los Zetas, a powerful criminal syndicate said to be involved in, among other things, drug trafficking and kidnappings.
Ménard’s family believes he was kidnapped. Frustrated by the lack of help from authorities, they have been investigating the case on their own, through Facebook and contacts in Mexico.
Dog found wandering outside Nuevo Laredo
The strange tale of Maya's return begins when police found a basset hound wandering in a rural area about 30 minutes outside Nuevo Laredo.
"It's not a dog that any person has here in Nuevo Laredo. Only the rich have those types of dogs," says Gina Ferrara de Leon, head of the local animal shelter where Maya was dropped off.
"Right away, she caught their eye."
An employee at the shelter happened to be looking on Facebook, and spotted the dog's photograph on a page about Ménard.
That’s when Ménard’s family received the good news and began a four-month campaign to get Maya back.
“Maya, she’s an angel. We’re so happy to have her back,” said Marc Morneau, a friend of Ménard's.
It took months of back-and-forth with the police department and officials on the ground, but Morneau said the dog's return has brought them fresh hope.
He drove for 80 hours with two others to retrieve Maya from Mexico.
'Maya is a part of Marc'
Marie-Josée Tessier, who has known Ménard for 14 years, said she is certain he is still alive.
"We have faith, hope, that Marc's gonna come back."
Tessier said they believe Menard was kidnapped by two men, and that one of them is currently in custody on another charge.
They're trying to find a lawyer in Mexico to help them arrange a meeting with that man.
Tessier said if Maya survived whatever happened in Mexico, Menard might have survived as well.
“For us, it was very important to bring back Maya here. Maya is a part of Marc."
On December 12th 2012, Maya leaves for a journey through the United State and Mexico, On the way back home of this great journey, an unexpected event occurred in the city of Nuevo Laredo, the evening of march the 14th 2013, Maya witnessed the abduction of her master, she was left on the porch of a house in front of her helpless owner, thereafter, the man living at this place has left his home to take escape, leaving Maya thereby.
Maya was left alone to herself for 8 days, during which neighbors gave her water, A lady living in the same apartment block took her in her care until a friend of hers came to visit, finding Maya very cute, she asked if she could have her, then Maya was taken by the lady friend ..
Meanwhile, here in Canada, the research team began to publish a missing person s notice..
Through a nice ladyl involved with lost animals, Sabrina FC Perros Perdidos asked us pictures of Maya in order to make a poster on her Facebook page dedicated to lost animals.
Timeline of Maya s return
Sunday, April 28th
Thursday, May 2nd
A friend of the family receives a call from Sabrina on the hotline ,MAYA off is found.! This friend takes on the mission to bring Maya home.. Assures all that everything has been taking care of ,confirms that Maya is in the air on her way back home.The team and family are extatic Stephanie jumps around, we re overwelmed with joy because finally... a part of Marc been found.
Friday, May 3rd
Menard Family meeting at a friend s house
With a picture of Maya in hand a friend of the family , Tells us again that maya is on the plane on her way back home ,shell be home tomorrow... so delaying the arrival of Maya Saturday, May 4
Saturday, May 4th
Meanwhile, we receive another info from Sabrina FC, but this time via Facebook, she tells us that a woman named Gina has Maya, the Ministerial Police gave her the custody, until the investigation clears and goes foward.
How cn the dog be on the plane ?! No return calls from the friend who confirmed twice that Maya was on a plane. We would later learn that the person in question had the intention of keeping Maya for himself without consulting the family nor anyone else. The bond of trust is broken. Pus from new! The team is shocked Stephanie is in tears, nothing works!
Monday, May 6
Marie Josée starts communicating with Gina Ferrara from the shelter Asociacion Protectora Animals ,who explains to us that Maya is still at the shelter, and we need to produce a document that would give permission to t the police to release Maya, a paper done by ourselves or by ourCanadian consulate ,Gina said.
Ongoing communications with Gina at the shelter and the police officer in charge of the investigation in Nuevo Laredo. Explaining again and again that Maya should not be given away to anyone who is not a family member.That lead us to learn that someone is pretending to be Marc s brother and is asking that the dog be released to him going as far as saying that Marc is not married therefor ,no one claiming to be his wife should have Maya.
The Beginning of the woes
Gina and the Nuevo Laredo police, do not know who to trust anymore.Despite all the emails and phone calls, They remained confused therefor we must produce a formal letter with the signatures of all the family members stating that maya should only be released to us and that the person trying to obtain her was not Marc s brother nor a member of the family.
Several times,profound discouragement would emerge.The communications were frequent with the Nuevo Laredo police officer in charge of the case.
We would learn very soon that the notion of time is quite diffrent over there.After many request, nothing was moving foward,everything stood still.
Following the first request from Gina to send an official paper to the police .A paper done by ourselves or by our Canadian consulate she told us.....
Monday, May 13th
We have therefore made a sworn paper, the paper,sended it to Gina, who gave it to the police.With no news nor any info, to Marie Josée contacted the police, who told her that the paper was not enough anymore.
Thursday, May 16th
The police requested that the paper sent shall be notarized and that we should also produce the marriage certificate of Manon and Marc, and send it in original copy and also notarized.
Tuesday, May 21st
The search for a French Spanish Notary accepting to notarized papers to Mexico began...We are in luck! an appointment for the next day was fixed.
Wednesday, May 22nd
After the notary, the papers were sent in priority Fedex.
Finally light at the end of the tunnel, Maya could finally return!
Saturday, May 25th
Confirmation of the reception of the papers by Gina. She will bring the police officer.
After a whole week of waiting...total silence.
Monday, June 3rd
Gina informs us that she has not received the permission from the police to release Maya ,so Marie Josée contacts the police officer, asking him why he he refuses to release Maya(?) The officer replied that the same notarial documents must be legalized by the Embassy of Mexico in Montreal .....
Discouragement hits now the highest level for the family, who now swim in a bureaucratic nightmare on top of the other one, asked Marie Josee to write a letter to the police officer and Gina, saying that, given their constant changing demands of papers , never being consistent or clear about their request..The family would surender to the idiocy and tells tem to keep Maya..
Tuesday, June 4th
We receive an email from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with a list of all the steps that we have followed for the paper to be valid and accepted.
Here is that email:
In order toretrieve Maya who is currently kept at the animal shelter by Gina Ferrara Leon
- Prepare a proxy sent on behalf of the officer who authorizes Ms. LEON FERRARA to call the dog so that you can send to family in Canada.
- The proxy must be in Spanish
- The proxy must be signed by a direct family member (parent, child, sibling, spouse)
- The proxy must be signed before a staff member of the Mexican Consulate
- The proxy must be accompanied by a copy of the relationship between the family member who signs the proxy and Marc Ménard, the copy must be certified by the Mexican Consulate (it will submit the original so that the copy be certified )
- The proxy must be accompanied by a copy of a photo ID of the family member who signs the power of attorney, the copy must be certified by the Mexican Consulate (it will submit the original so that the copy is certified)
- If the proxy is signed before a Canadian notary, the notary's signature must be authenticated by the Consulate of Mexico
- If the copy of the proof of kinship, the family member who signs the proxy is signed by the Canadian notary, the notary's signature on this document must be authenticated by the Consulate of Mexico
- If the copy of the photo identification, the family member who signs the proxy is signed by the Canadian notary, the notary's signature on this document must be authenticated by the Consulate of Mexico
- If the proxy is written in French, it must be translated into Spanish
- If the proxy is written in French, the original and the translated copy must be certified by the Mexican Consulate.
Once the family has obtained the power of attorney meets the requirements above, please send a scanned copy to my attention so that I can share with consular officials at the Embassy of Canada in Mexico City. The material sent will be reviewed to see if everything seems to be there.
Thereafter, the original copy of the documentation must be sent by registered mail to the Consular Section of the Embassy of Canada in Mexico post.
And Voila!! we have to start all over , discouragement feeling of being powerless affects us once again.
Why is it so difficult to return a dog?
We did not understand, fortunately during our visit to the Notary, we had all the copies notarized duplicated, this time , we saved ourselves valuable time to send them the same papers, but this time, Legalized by the Consulate of Mexico.
Monday, June 10th
Go! Go! City of Montreal Executive center Mexican Consulate to have all documents notarized and legalized..
At the Consulate, we are told that we must go to certify the signature of the notary who notarized our papers. Incredibly, he is currently 11h45, we have to run to go to the Chamber of Notaries aware that the Mexican Embassy closes at 1 o clock ...
Getting to the Chamber of Notaries, the receptionist tells us that we need a appointment, of course we do not.have one . No lawyer is not available, because they are at lunch , but , the receptionist is very nice, found us a notary 12h35, which accepts to certify the signature of the notary, who notarized our documents ..... Then return to the consulate just before closing ...
After this race legalization of papers, documents were again mailed recommend,prioritized , Fedex, but this time to the Canadian Embassy in Mexico ...
Thursday July 3rd
Finding the time endless, Marie Josée communicates with the police in Nuevo Laredo, which confirms that he has just allow Gina to send Maya.
Hooray ! FINALLY! the process is successful and completed!
Friday, July 4th
Gina confirms that the necessary steps will be made so that Maya could fly the next week.
Tuesday July 9th
Gina tells us that Maya takes a plane the next day July 10 to 10h40 am and would land in Montreal at19h40 pm ...
We are so happy!
Wednesday, July 10th
Bad news..... Gina explains to us that due to the extreme heat, no animals will be allowed on flights with a stopover of more than 4 hours, because it could potentially put the animal in danger.
From this moment, Gina and us are looking for a quick and efficient way to bring Maya back in Canada ....
Many ideas we comes in mind, but none of them seems realistic ,Impasse, questions inhabits us.
Thursday, July 11th
A Member the research team, Melanie decides to go and get Maya in Texas, accompanied by her husband, Marc and their friend Yves.
WOW! What a wonderful idea and what a beutiful displays of heart and courage, a decision thunderclap that gives us back some joy.
The departure was fast, after preparation and coordination of their route, they were on their merry way to Laredo Texas USA!
Through a mobile application, we were able to monitor in real time team on the road and set the meeting point between Gina and the team ...
The start was made in 22 hours from Montreal, the journey is 3500 km, has done 35 hrs, with 3 drivers.
Saturday, July 13th
Maya was recovered 14h, while there, the team took the opportunity to install posters Marc Menard and also strengthen ties with the people who help us in Mexico.
Few hours later, the team was on the way back with a quiet ,nice and sweet Maya.
Monday, July 15th
In the early hours of the morning, the team and Maya are finally home.
Tears of joy overwelmes us all , we have a part of Marc back in our lives.
Equipo de Perros perdidos Mx
Thanks to Sabrina creating and publishing a poster that will allow Maya to be recognize and localized.
Thanks to her dedication and exemplary love animals!
Gina Ferrara De Leon
Asociacion Protectora of Animal
From Nuevo Laredo, AC
Thanks to Gina, who has ensured the health and safety of Maya.
Thanks for keeping close contact with Marie Josee to coordinate the return of Maya.
A special thanks for her great patience and professionalism.
Minister of Foreign Affairs
A big thanks to Ms. Ménard, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, for taking the time to send us an email with all the official procedures to be followed for the return of Maya.
Research Team Marc Ménard
A huge thanks to Marie JoséeTessier who has been in direct contact with Gina Ferrara Leon and Mexican authorities.
Thanks also to Melanie Bouchard, Mark Morneau and Yves St-Onge,who took the road across the USA to bring Maya home safe.
And to all the people who contributed one way or another to the return of Maya.
Thanks to all members of the family of Marc Menard, who have put their trust on us. And to have seen fit tthat Maya should get back in the hands of Stephanie who, upon adoption, had personally named this beautiful female basset hound Maya. Undoubtedly, she will take good care of her until Marc Menard returns to ground of Quebec!
We, the family and the research team of Marc Menard, kidnapped in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico from March 14, 2013, noting the LITTLE support received from our government, ask Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada to be transparent and to apply to all Canadian citizens and petitioners to clearly explain the pressures that have been made so far on the Mexican government to find Marc Ménard.
We call the outcome of the investigation and that our Government exerts constant pressure on the Government of Mexico to the record of Marc Menard is processed and classified as high priority.
Saving Marc Ménard
SIGN THE PETITION
March 14th 2013 ,Marc Menard was abducted et sequestered by 2 Mexicans man named Fransco alias JAVI and Luis Alias El Wicho
El Wicho abandonned his appartment and went idle
Luis alias El Wicho 1.70 m about 25 yo short black hair, tanned skin , thin dark eyes
As the other fellow is concerned ,updates will be released soon for protecting an investigation in progress.
Missing from: Nuevo Laredo border, Mexico
On his back home, Never pass the border.
Date missing: March 14, 2013
Age:44 years old
Traveling in Mexico since:December 12th,2012
With his basset hount name's: Maya
Vehicule: White Pontiac Transport Plate number:P95 EHl
If anyone has seen Marc or any information, please contact: 00.1.438.985.8300
Facebook marc menard avis de recherche
Friends of a Quebec man missing in Mexico say they hope to find him and bring him home.
Marc Menard was returning to Canada in a vehicle when he vanished somewhere in northern Mexico.
Menard was driving back to Canada through the United States, and had planned to cross the border at the notoriously dangerous town of Nuevo Laredo.
But it’s not clear he got that far.
A Facebook page launched recently says the last time anyone had contact with Menard was more than two weeks ago — on March 14.
Menard, married with an adult daughter, works as a public transit bus driver just north of Montreal.
He was travelling without a cellphone and speaks minimal English and Spanish.
Menard’s friends say he was driving back from Mexico with his basset hound, Maya.
The family and friends of Marc Ménard offering a reward of $ 10,000 to anyone who can provide information that could lead to the return of Marc Ménard.
00-1-438-985-8300 cell phone or text message
Twitter in english @alexangus1234
Canadian tourist goes missing south of the border
Published on 2013-04-14
Friends and a family of a missing Canadian tourist have turned to social media after he went missing south of the border in Nuevo Laredo.