Domonique Borrego and her two boys in happier times.
DENVER - There are new developments in a 9Wants To Know investigation of a case involving young children.
A former child abduction investigator, who has worked with the FBI, is voicing serious concerns about the safety of Pedro and Joey Vasquez.
Their mother, Domonique Borrego, turned up dead in Mexico on Sep.16, just days after making a phone call expressing concern about the boys and fear for her own life.
READ: Colorado woman's suspicious death in Mexico raises questions about the safety of her children
Borrego was fighting drug addiction and lost custody of her sons, Pedro and Joey.
Mandy Foster, a family pastor at Denver Community Church, says the boys were overcoming their painful past.
"He said that his mom had a difficult time in life, and so they couldn't live with her right now," Foster said.
Foster says Pedro and Joey's foster family, who are legally prohibited from discussing the case, had plans to adopt the boys.
"They lived with someone else who loved and cared for them," Foster said.
Everything changed in late 2012 when a Denver juvenile court judge removed Pedro and Joey from foster care and sent them 1,700 miles to Misantla, Veracruz, Mexico to live with their father, Pablo Vasquez.
"We felt really helpless," Foster said. "[The boys] were really scared."
A former therapist testified in court Vasquez abused the boys and their mother.
He moved back to Mexico when Borrego went into rehab and lost contact with his American wife and children for more than a year.
Denver attorneys and case workers won't comment citing confidentiality laws, but a Mexican government website says they found Vasquez to be a reliable parent.
Borrego defied a court order and moved to Mexico to be closer to her children, but soon felt she and the boys needed to get out.
"Please make sure to tell [case workers] that my life is in danger if they call here," Borrego said in a phone call last month.
"She was very adamant about not letting the case worker tell Pablo, who is the father, that she called. And the case worker contacted him. And within, I believe it was two days, she was dead," former homicide and child abduction investigator Michelle Chase said.
Chase studied photos of the crime scene, which show Borrego's body in a standing position, clothes falling off, with what appears be a hangman's noose around her neck.
"She was already dead prior to that and someone hoisted her up," Chase suspects after looking at the photos.
There was no suicide note or autopsy, but Mexican police quickly ruled Borrego's death a suicide.
"I have a great deal of fear for [Pedro and Joey's] safety," Chase said.
Foster shares that fear.
"It's heartbreaking. We're scared that they're not safe," Foster said.
The U.S. State Department confirmed Wednesday it is aware of Borrego's death, but referred all questions about the investigation to Mexican authorities.
A hearing is set for next month in Denver where a judge will review Pedro and Joey's case.
The question is: if the judge decides those American-born boys are unsafe in Mexico, can a Denver court actually enforce their return?
9Wants to Know will continue to follow this case.
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