A tipster contacted the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) earlier this week to report a potential sighting of a woman who may have disappeared as a baby 51 years ago.
The reported sighting happened in Charleston, South Carolina, according to the organization dedicated to finding missing children.
“Receiving tips for cases that are decades old is rare, but it’s not uncommon,” John Bischoff, NCMEC’s director of missing children, told Fox News Digital. “At NCMEC, we will never forget a missing child, and we’re pleased to see that much of the community hasn’t forgotten about Melissa either.”
Melissa Highsmith disappeared from Fort Worth, Texas on August 23, 1971, when she was just 21 months old, according to NCMEC.
Bischoff said the fact that the tipster looked at NCMEC’s photos of Highsmith and identified and reported a possible sighting was “outstanding.”
Highsmith’s mother, a recently separated mother who had just moved to Fort Worth and was working as a waitress at the time, had placed an ad in the local paper for a babysitter to look after her daughter. A woman responded to the ad and agreed to meet Highsmith’s mother at the restaurant where she worked, but the interviewee never showed up.
Later, the would-be babysitter called Highsmith’s mother and expressed her interest in the job. She said she has a big garden and takes care of other children. According to NCMEC, Highsmith’s mother hired the babysitter.
The babysitter picked up the 21-month-old toddler while she was in the care of her mother’s roommate and her mother was at work. Her mother’s roommate said the woman who picked up Highsmith at the time was “nice” and “impressively dressed, wearing white gloves,” NCMEC said in a tweet Thursday.
Highsmith had not been seen since her mother called the police on the day she disappeared in 1971.
“It only takes one person to see the right thing and do something about it,” Bischoff said. “We’re not sure if this tip will go anywhere, but it’s clear the public hasn’t forgotten about Melissa. Law enforcement hasn’t, and neither have we.”
NCMEC encourages anyone with information to contact 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678).
https://nypost.com/2022/09/10/melissa-highland-who-went-missing-51-years-ago-as-a-baby-reported-seen/ Melissa Highland, who went missing as a baby 51 years ago, has been reported as seen