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FRESNO, Calif. (KMPH) -
Families in Fresno are on edge waiting for three brothers to return to the United States from Mexico.
The boys are at the center of an international kidnapping and human trafficking investigation.
The stepmother of one of the boys says, she hopes the kids will re-unite with their biological families.
Nicole Stelton is the stepmother of 15-year-old Michael Diaz.
He, his two younger brothers, Romeo and Damian, and are in protective custody in Mexico.
"It's heartbreaking. It makes me want to get in my car and go down there. But I know I can't do that," said Stelton.
The last time she and Michael's father saw him was about 8 years ago, before the state took the boys away from their biological mother, then were adopted by a Fresno family.
She says Michael was a happy kid.
"Just upbeat, very happy, chipper, and so small. Very small built, but just very happy go lucky," said Stelton.
Michael's brothers were found at a convenience store in Guadalajara last week.
They told police they were dropped off at their grandma's house in Mexico 7 months ago and that mean men kidnapped them from the home.
The also said their brother Michael, now 15 years old, was beaten to the point of being unconscious when they were kidnapped.
"I just kind of broke down, I had to go outside and collect myself for a second," said Stelton.
Nicole blames the kids' adoptive mother for leaving the kids in a dangerous situation.
"But it's the fact that you left him there for 7 months, you abandoned children you adopted and promised you would keep safe,' said Stelton.
Now she fears the boys may have been caught in some sort of human trafficking ring.
She hopes her stepson will get to meet to meet his half-brothers and sisters and be placed in a safe home and live a normal life.
"He should be playing football, he should be playing soccer...he shouldn't be stuck down there in a country he doesn't know," said Stelton.
There are reports the adoptive mother of the children is headed to Mexico.
Meanwhile Stelton says the boys' biological mother has contacted state officials, hoping to re-gain contact and- or custody of her sons.
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