Who is Melissa Highsmith? Wiki, Biography, Age, Family, Missing, Kidnapping, Investigation

Melissa Highsmith Wiki – Melissa Highsmith Biography

A family in Fort Worth, Texas, has been reunited with their daughter who was abducted as a baby more than five decades ago thanks to a DNA match from the ancestry service 23andMe, the family announced Sunday. Melissa Highsmith was just 22 months old in 1971 when she was allegedly kidnapped by a woman who was hired to care for her, according to family posts over the years.

Highsmith, raised as Melanie, has lived in Fort Worth for much of her life, never knowing she was missing, according to CNN affiliate KTVT. She had no idea her family was looking for her until they contacted her on Facebook, she told the affiliate. At first, she thought the message might be a scam.

Melissa Highsmith Age

Melissa Highsmith is 53 years old.

Melissa Highsmith Incident Detail

“My father texted me on messenger and said, ‘You know, I’ve been looking for my daughter for 51 years,’” she told KTVT. The family found Highsmith through a DNA match to one of her children on 23andMe, KTVT. informed. The person who raised me, I asked, ‘Is there something you should tell me?’ and it was confirmed that she knew I was baby Melissa, so that made it real,”

Highsmith told the affiliate. Highsmith’s parents met her for the first time on Saturday and did further “official and legal DNA testing,” the family wrote online. to our Melissa, we KNEW beyond a doubt this was OUR GIRL,” the family added in a Facebook post announcing the news.

A profile of Highsmith’s case from the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System notes that the missing baby had a birthmark on her upper back. The report also includes a sketch of the alleged babysitter and photos of Melissa’s age progression.

“I just couldn’t believe it,” her mother, Alta Apantenco, told KTVT through tears, recalling the meeting. “I thought I would never see her again.” “Our finding of Melissa was due solely to DNA, not police/FBI involvement, podcast involvement, or even our family’s own private investigations or speculation,” one Highsmith family member wrote on Facebook.

The Fort Worth Police Department was “delighted” that 23andMe brought Melissa to the family, it said in a statement Monday, adding that it would conduct official DNA testing to confirm Melissa’s identity.

The criminal statute of limitations expired 20 years after Melissa’s 18th birthday, but the department said it would continue the investigation to “uncover all available information about Melissa’s abduction that occurred 51 years ago.”

At the time of Highsmith’s disappearance, her mother said she placed an ad in the newspaper looking for a nanny to care for her baby while she worked, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. Apantenco said a woman responded to the ad and offered to babysit Melissa at her home, the newspaper reported.

When the woman arrived to pick up the baby, she said, Apantenco’s roommate was taking care of the child. The roommate handed the baby to the woman, she told the newspaper, and the woman never returned.

The incident has long haunted Apantenco, who had four more children, according to the Highsmith family. “My mom did the best she could with the limited resources she had. She couldn’t risk getting fired from her. So, she trusted the person she said would take care of her child,” Sharon Highsmith, Melissa’s younger sister, said in a news release. “

For 50 years, my mom has lived with the guilt of losing Melissa. She has also lived with community and national accusations that she hurt or killed her own baby. I’m so glad to have Melissa back. I’m also grateful that we have a vindication for my mother.” The family says they want others who have lost loved ones to keep believing. “Never lose hope,” Sharon said. “She chases after all the clues.”

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