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USA, kidnapped at the age of 2 in 1971 and found thanks to DNA 

2022-11-29T19:03:55.740Z

An early Christmas miracle for a Texas family who were able to embrace again after 51 years their daughter kidnapped when she was only 21 months old by a woman who had posed as a babysitter. The incredible story began in the city of Fort Worth in 1971 and ended last weekend in South Carolina with a meeting between Melissa Highsmith, her parents and her brothers and sisters (ANSA)



Early Christmas miracle for a Texas family who were able to embrace again after 51 years their daughter kidnapped when she was only 21 months old by a woman who had posed as a babysitter.

The incredible story began in the city of Forth Worth in 1971 and concluded with a Hollywood-worthy ending last weekend in South Carolina with a meeting between Melissa Highsmith, her parents and her brothers and sisters.

The woman was not even two years old when her mother Alta Apantenco, single and with little means, decided to place an advertisement in the newspaper looking for a babysitter who could take care of her daughter when she was at work.

A woman answered her ad and a few days later she showed up to get Melissa of hers without her mother having ever met her before.

Not even that day

that will forever mark the life of the little girl and her family, Alta could be present so she decided to entrust the little girl to her roommate who handed her over to the babysitter.

Since then, traces of the two have been lost.

The family has never stopped looking for Melissa and every year, on her birthday, she throws her a small party complete with cake and balloons.

A spasmodic search all on their shoulders, as pointed out by one of the sisters, Sharon.

"We found her only thanks to the DNA test, certainly not thanks to the police or the FBI or the private agents hired in recent years", she claimed.

The turning point last September, when the family received an anonymous message that their lost daughter was in Charleston, South Carolina, at almost 2.

000 kilometers from the place where she was kidnapped.

There she was raised under the name Melanie Walden and was reunited with her mother, father Jeffrie and two of her four siblings after a DNA test confirmed that it was her.

Incredible is Alta's joy in her that in recent years, in addition to her terrible sense of guilt, she has had to suffer insinuations and accusations of having killed her daughter.

"My mother did what she could with the limited resources she had of hers. She couldn't risk her job and she trusted the person who assured her that she would take care of her daughter," Sharon explained.

Melissa said she was "overwhelmed" by what happened but that "it is the most beautiful emotion in the world".

She also revealed that she had a difficult childhood and ran away from home at the age of 15.

"

I didn't feel loved as a child," she said. "My childhood was full of abuse, I ran away, I lived on the street.

I did what I had to do to survive,” Melissa said again, who now dreams of remarrying her husband so that her father can walk her down the aisle. The extraordinary story leaves many questions. Meanwhile, it is not clear whether the woman who raised the child is the same one who kidnapped her 51 years ago. And if it's not the same, what happened to the self-styled babysitter? The crime is now statute barred but the Fort Worth police have ensured they will continue to investigate.

who now dreams of remarrying her husband so that her father can walk her down the aisle.

The extraordinary story leaves many questions.

Meanwhile, it is not clear whether the woman who raised the child is the same one who kidnapped her 51 years ago.

And if she's not the same, what happened to the self-styled babysitter?

The crime is now statute barred but the Fort Worth police have assured that she will continue to investigate.

who now dreams of remarrying her husband so that her father can walk her down the aisle.

The extraordinary story leaves many questions.

Meanwhile, it is not clear whether the woman who raised the child is the same one who kidnapped her 51 years ago.

And if she's not the same, what happened to the self-styled babysitter?

The crime is now statute barred but the Fort Worth police have assured that she will continue to investigate.

Source: ansa

All life articles on 2022-11-29

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