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  1. #1. Melissa Highsmith Unsolved Mysteries: Reunion

Melissa Highsmith Unsolved Mysteries: Reunited, Eventually

Searching for information about the Melissa Highsmith Unsolved Mysteries case? Here we go! Using only a DNA test and no outside help from authorities, a family in the United States located a member who had been gone for more than half a century after her babysitter kidnapped her in Texas as a toddler. According to WCIV in Charleston and a press release from Melissa Highsmith's family, the amazing drama of her disappearance came to a close in South Carolina on Saturday.
In 1971, when Highsmith was just one year old, her mother, Alta Apantenco, placed a newspaper ad in Fort Worth, Texas, seeking a babysitter. Apantenco was bringing up Melissa without the help of her family and needed a nanny so that she could focus on her career. She recruited the first interested woman she found online.

#1. Melissa Highsmith Unsolved Mysteries: Reunion

Melissa Highsmith Unsolved Mysteries Source: Unsolved Mysteries
Apantenco's roommate allegedly gave Melissa to the babysitter, who disappeared without returning her. Highsmith's family and friends reported her missing to authorities, and in the fifty years afterward, they've held annual birthday parties in her honor. They recently created a "Finding Melissa Highsmith" Facebook page to ask for the public's assistance in tracing the missing family member.
And then in September, WCIV said, Highsmith's loved ones got a tip that she was in the Charleston area, which is over 1,100 miles from Fort Worth. Melissa's birthmark, Melissa's birthday, and the results of a 23andMe DNA test all helped her family determine that she was, in fact, their long-lost daughter from 51 years ago.
According to a statement acquired by the Guardian on Monday, Melissa was reunited with her mother, father, and two of her four siblings on Saturday during a celebration at the family's church in Fort Worth.

Indescribable Happiness

Melissa Highsmith Unsolved Mysteries
Victoria Garner, the sister, said, "I couldn't stop weeping" in the statement. I was ecstatic, and I'm still trying to process that my sister was standing before me and that we had located her. Another sister, Sharon Highsmith, who currently resides in Spain but has plans to visit Melissa for Christmas, detailed the family's approach to law enforcement in the statement. Their efforts to locate Melissa, which included taking the 23andMe test, proved fruitful.
According to Sharon Highsmith, the family reached out to Lisa Jo Schiele, a clinical laboratory scientist, and amateur genealogist, for assistance in deciphering the crucial DNA results and scouring public records in search of Melissa.
Sharon Highsmith said that her family had been hurt by how the many agencies involved handled the case. "Right now, we want to welcome Melissa into the family, get to know her, and try to make up for the 50 years we lost."


Melissa Highsmith Unsolved Mysteries
On Monday, it remained unclear what had become of the nanny. Twenty years after Highsmith turned 18, the statute of limitations on criminally prosecuting the babysitter ran out. Highsmith's mother gave her the name Melanie when she was a child. According to CNN, she was initially skeptical of a Facebook post from a family member informing her that she was missing and that her loved ones were searching for her.
Sharon Highsmith expressed her gratitude for her mother, who she said had been through a lot after Melissa went missing, including being accused of maybe killing her and then covering it up. According to Sharon Highsmith's testimony, her mother "did the best she could with the few resources she had; she could not risk being fired, so she believed the person who stated they would care for her child." Thank goodness my mum has been cleared of all charges!
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