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Father of abandoned NYC girl wants custody

Oct. 9, 2005 at 11:34 PM

NEW YORK, Oct. 9 (UPI) -- The imprisoned father of the 4-year-old New York City girl who was abandoned by her mother's alleged killer, wants custody.

Juan Carlos Saavedra is serving a 10-year prison sentence in Bolivia on drug charges, but he said he is appealing his conviction and is not a drug trafficker, reported the New York Daily News Sunday.

Cesar Ascarrunz is accused of committing the murder of Saavedra's estranged wife, Monica Lozada-Rivadineira and then leaving 4-year-old Valery Saavedra on a New York City street with no shoes.

"When I see Valery on TV, I feel that she calls me and she wants me to be by her side," Juan Carlos Saavedra told the Bolivian paper Los Tiempos. "Now I only think about the future and to dedicate myself to my children because I love them."

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