Woman Missing For 51 Years Found In Fort Worth, Texas Reunited With Family


A woman kidnapped by her babysitter in 1971 was discovered alive in Fort Worth and reunited with her family.

Melissa Highsmith was abducted when she was only 22 months old from her parents home by a woman that was suppose to be babysitting her.

Highsmith’s mother, Alta Apantenco, said she reached out to law enforcement for help but after years of searching they found nothing.

In September the family received a possible lead from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in South Carolina. When that tip failed the family continued their search.

After over 50 years of searching a 23 and Me DNA test came back linking Highsmith’s children to their family.

Apantenco reached out to the children through Facebook and said they had been looking for their daughter.

At first Highsmith thought it was a scam but after talking with Apantenco she agreed to take a DNA test. On Thanksgiving the results came back and confirmed she was missing baby Melissa.

On Saturday, during a celebration at a church in Fort Worth, Melissa reunited with her mother, her father and two of her four siblings, sharing tears, hugs and smiles.



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