A woman who may have vanished more than half a century ago as a baby was reportedly seen recently in South Carolina after age-progression photos were posted by a missing persons group, WCSC-TV reports.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, someone notified the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) that they believe they saw Melissa Highsmith, who disappeared when she was 21 months old in August 1971.
At the time, Highsmith’s mother had been recently separated and moved to Fort Worth, Texas, where she was working as a waitress. The mother bought an ad in a local newspaper seeking a babysitter to watch the girl.
A woman who responded agreed to meet at the restaurant where Highsmith’s mother worked, but the prospective babysitter reportedly was a no-show, according to tweets from NCMEC.
However, the applicant called back and said she was still interested in babysitting, claiming to have a large backyard and that she was a caretaker of other children. Highsmith’s mother hired the woman, who picked up the girl as she was being watched by her mother’s roommate while the mother was working.
The roommate reported that the woman who picked up the girl “dressed to impress, wearing white gloves” and seemed nice, according to NCMEC.
But the mother would never see her daughter again. She called police the day the baby went missing on August 23, 1971 – 51 years ago.
John Bischoff, head of NCMEC’s Missing Children Division, told Fox News Digital it is important for the public to do something when they encounter someone who may be missing.
“All it takes is one person to see the right thing and do something about it,” Bischoff told the news outlet. “We are unsure if this tip will go anywhere, but it’s clear the public has not forgotten about Melissa. Law enforcement hasn’t and neither have we.”
To report information about the case, call 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678).
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[Featured image via NCMEC]