The 5-year-old boy from San Diego who was found in chains, beaten and starved by his aunt and uncle in Mexico may soon be reunited with his father.
The father, Pascual Castro, was deported for the tenth time on Tuesday. He departed Tijuana for Mexico City on Friday morning to retrieve his son.
The boy, Anthony, has a Mexican and U.S. dual citizenship and has been the center of an international custody battle since he was discovered by Mexican authorities in late June.
Castro said he had left his son with his sister and brother-in-law in Mexico and was sending over $500 a month while he was working in the U.S.
Anthony's mother, Dawn Sanderson, lost custody of him when he was 11-months old.
Castro was notified in June that his son was found in chains and abused at his family’s house outside Mexico City, but said he was unable to return to Mexico to care for him because of his undocumented status in the U.S.
On Tuesday, Castro was intercepted by Border Patrol in San Diego County during a fugitive operation and deported. Now he is back in Mexico, attempting contact with his son.
"I hope to see him very soon," said Castro in Spanish to Telemundo 20. "I feel pure happiness right now. The important thing is the child."
The National System for Integral Family Development (DIF) said Pascual will have to prove he can care for Anthony.
"I feel satisfied I can do that," said Pascual. "I already fought it and on two previous occasions, I already showed that I can do that."
Castro’s son would require comprehensive care if Castro manages to gain custody, DIF said in a press conference.
Sanderson, who lives in Escondido, said she is also seeking custody.
"I’m going to do what I have to do without stopping until the day I have him with me," Sanderson told NBC News in Spanish.
Castro’s sister and brother-in-law face charges of child abuse, according to Mexican authorities.