Kidnapped at the age of 2, she is found 51 years later thanks to one thing

Disappeared in 1971 at the age of just two, Melissa Highsmith, 53, has recently been reunited with her biological parents.

She had been missing for more than 50 years. Kidnapped by her nanny in 1971 at the age of 22 months, Melissa Highsmith, 53, was found by her family last November. “We are beyond thrilled to announce that we have found Melissa!”, wrote his sister, Sharon Highsmith, on the social network facebook. (…) The joy is palpable in all members of our family, and we invite you to celebrate with us, as well as to grant us a few moments of intimacy while integrating this incredible news. Thank you all for your support over the years.”

In 1971, Melissa’s busy mother resorted to newspaper classifieds to find a babysitter. An all-around trustworthy young woman then showed up, but fled with little Melissa on her first day on the job. My mother did what she could with the resources she had. She couldn’t risk losing her job, so she trusted the person who told her she would take care of her daughter.explains Sharon Highsmith. For 50 years, my mother lived with the guilt of losing Melissa. She also faced accusations from our community and the world that she had harmed or killed her own baby. I’m so happy that Melissa is with us. I’m also grateful to have cleared my mother.”

A new DNA miracle

Melissa and her loved ones owe their miracle to 23andmean American biotechnology company offering DNA testing to individuals. Through one of these tests, the Highsmith family discovered that Melissa was living in Fort Worth, Texas as Melanie Walden. Very young during her abduction, the latter did not even know that she was missing.

Now 53, Melissa saw her parents for the first time on November 26, 2022. “It’s overwhelming, but at the same time, it’s the most wonderful feeling in the world”she confided to CBS News. New DNA tests will be carried out to confirm his identity. But according to her sister, there’s no doubt about it, especially since today’s Melissa has the exact same birthmark as her late sister. “From the moment we saw her photos, learned that she had the same birthmark and realized that her ‘birthday’ was very close to Melissa’s, WE KNEW beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was was OURS. (…) Never lose hope. Explore all leads“, she concluded.

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