In 1971, Alta and Jeffrie Highsmith had every parent’s nightmare. Their daughter, Melissa, was kidnapped by her babysitter from their home in Fort Worth, Texas. She was only 22 months old when the tragedy happened. The American couple never lost hope of finding her. 51 years later, the miracle happened! According to information reported by CBS, it all started last September when the National Missing Children’s Center (NCMEC) received a report. According to him, Melissa was in Charleston, South Carolina. An erroneous information which, however, brought the case to light.
Sometime later, Alta and Jeffrie performed a DNA test that linked them to Melissa’s children. Overjoyed, the father of the family quickly contacted her on Facebook. The 50-year-old, who lived under the name Melanie Walden, first thought it was a scam. And for good reason, she was completely unaware of having been abducted. But after confronting her captor, the truth came out. “I asked the person who raised me if she didn’t have something to tell me. And she confirmed to me that I was indeed little Melissa,” she said. Further analysis established his true identity.
A pretty miracle for Melissa’s parents
The reunion took place during the Thanksgiving holidays. For the first time in over half a century, Melissa saw her loved ones again. “It’s a dream come true,” said her brother, Jeff, while her sister, Victoria, said, “Grateful to have her with us. Welcome back to the Sissy family. Welcome to the family.” A moment filled with emotions for the 50-year-old: “It’s overwhelming, but at the same time, it’s the most wonderful feeling in the world.” Melissa, who is now getting to know her biological family, has planned to take steps to resume her birth name.