Daughter reunited with family after 51 years.

On November 29, Melissa Highsmith reunited with her family after 51 years. Her mother hired a babysitter through a local newspaper ad and the babysitter kidnapped her when she was just 22 months old. The babysitter took baby Melissa with her, but promised to take good care of her at her home. 

The baby vanished, along with the babysitter and a decades long hunt for the child sparked. Years later, Melissa Highsmith was unaware of people looking for her. She went by the name Melanie Walden, and thought the family trying to contact her through facebook was a scam. A website helped connect the family and Ms.Highsmith. 

They met 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.” Ms.Highsmith told CBS. Around September, the family followed up to a tip that said Ms.Highsmith was spotted in South Carolina.


 Ms.Highsmith’s mother said she “could not believe the family had been reunited.” and “I thought I’d never see her again” she added. Even though the kidnapping has long passed, the Fort Worth Police Department said in a statement that it will continue the investigation into the disappearance to piece together what happened.

Meanwhile, the family was catching up all those years without their daughter. Ms.Highsmith even planned to redo her wedding so her biological father could walk her down the aisle. 

“My heart right now is just full and bursting with just much emotion,” she told CBS. “I’m just really, really happy.” I think this is important to know because so many kids get kidnapped, and many don’t come back to their family. So it’s very nice to know that she reunited with her family.


Sources: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-63797314