Technology also helped reunite the family as they used a DNA test by 23andMe to confirm that the woman was, in fact, Highsmith.
With the same birthday and birthmark from childhood, there was no doubt that the woman living 1,00 miles away from Fort Worth, going by the name Melanie Walden, was her.
At a party, she was reunited with her mother, her father, Jeffrie Highsmith, and two of her four siblings.
In a statement, her sister, Victoria Garner, said: “I couldn’t stop crying, I was overjoyed, and I’m still walking around in a fog trying to comprehend that my sister [was] right in front of me and that we found her.”
Another sister, Sharon Highsmith, said: “My mom did the best she could with the limited resources she had – she couldn’t risk getting fired, so she trusted the person who said they’d care for her child.
“I’m grateful … we have vindication for my mom.”
It’s unclear what happened to the babysitter who is believed to have taken the baby in 1971.
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