The Kidnapping


Michaela was my first child, the desire of my heart for over five years before she was born, finally conceived only with the assistance of a prescription for fertility pills.  She was the first person to curl her little tiny hand around my fingers, and around my heart, the first one ever to call me "mommy."  Beautiful beyond measure, tender hearted and compassionate, she was a living light in this world.  Then she was gone. 
  • November 19, 1988
    At home.

    It was a sunny Saturday morning, the first day of Thanksgiving vacation, when Michaela and her best friend, Trina, asked if they could go to the neighborhood market to get some candy and sodas.  The market was only two blocks away, but Michaela had only been there a few times, and then only in the company of the teenage girls who lived next door.  I didn't want to let her go, and at first I told her no.  But she begged and begged, and so I gave in, and let her go.  I stood at the door and watched as the girls picked up their scooters from the driveway to leave.  Michaela turned to me.  "I love you, mom," she said.  "I love you, too, Michaela," I told her.  Those were our last words to each other.  I stood and watched as the girls glided down the driveway and to the end of the block, until they turned out of sight.  I went back inside and started washing the breakfast dishes.
    Michaela hadn't been gone for long, not long enough for me to worry about her, when I heard shouting out in the street, where Michaela's dad was working on the car in the driveway.  A minute later he stuck his head in the kitchen doorway.  "Somebody snatched Michaela up at the market," he said breathlessly.  "You call 911. I'm going up there."  I stood there with my mouth open, unable to comprehend the horror of what I was hearing.  Somebody "snatched" Michaela up at the market?  What did that even mean?  I picked up the phone and dialed 911.  They knew my name without my telling them.  They asked some questions, and told me to wait at my house for the officer.
    "Have they found her yet?" I asked.
    "No, not yet," the dispatcher answered.  "Just wait for the officer. He will explain everything to you."
    I hung up the phone and began waiting, began a lifetime of waiting. I began pacing, tracing figure eights around my small house, figure eights I would continue to trace for years to come, needing to go somewhere but not knowing where, or how to get there.

  • November 19, 1988
    At the market.

    Michaela and Trina had left their scooters by the side door of the market while they went in and purchased some candy and sodas and beef jerky.  When they left the market, they started to walk home, completely forgetting that they had ridden the scooters there.  Halfway across the parking lot they remembered, and turned back to get them.
    One of the scooters was not by the door where they'd left it.  Michaela spotted it first, about three parking spaces down from the door, next to a car.  She went to get it.  As she bent over to pick it up, a man jumped out of the car next to the scooter, grabbed her from behind, and threw her screaming into his car as Trina watched in horror.  He climbed in and started the car, drove out of the parking lot and took off driving erratically down the busy highway which is Mission Boulevard in Hayward.  Trina ran into the store for help.  The police were called.  Trina then called her dad, who drove by my house on his way to the store and told Michaela's dad what had happened.  The police response was immediate, arriving before Trina's dad and Michaela's dad.
    It seemed impossible for this case not to be solved, and solved quickly.  If we'd had Amber Alerts and some of the technology that exists today, perhaps this story would have turned out differently.  But we didn't.  Michaela is still missing, and the identity of her kidnapper is still unknown.
  • The Facts

    Michaela was kidnapped on November 19, 1988, at approximately 10:15 a.m., in Hayward, California (San Francisco Bay Area).
    The location was at the corner of Mission Boulevard and Lafayette.  At that time it was called Rainbow Market.  Today it is Mexico Super.

66 comments:

  1. I can't even imagine! How horrible. So so sorry. I hope they find your baby girl!

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    1. Dear Sharon, you and your Michaela have been in my prayers ever since I heard your history (about 2 years ago). I have a suggestion for you.
      Is there any way you can get Michaela's history to the show THE HUNT, in CNN? Even though all the police have is a skeet of the kidnaper, I still think it is worth to try. I hope and pray that she can be find soon.

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  2. This story is so detailed and surreal I get a knot in my stomach reading it. I hope one day you are reunited with Michaela again. I wonder if the police have any DNA evidence at all or Fingerprints of the kidnapper?

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    1. There was a partial palm print on the scooter that they were not able to identify, which MIGHT belong to the kidnapper.

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    2. Sharon, Have the police continued to run this palm print throughout the years. You never know when it will show up in the data base. Whoever kidnapped Michaela most likely was a repeat offender, not only with kidnapping but with other crimes as well.

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    3. My understanding is that palm prints are not stored in the database, but they do compare it to suspects.

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    4. I guess a palm print is not like a finger print. Was there any surveillance at the store or in any other business along Mission Blvd or beyond.

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    5. No, nothing like that. Remember this was back in the dark ages, before cell phones even.

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    6. If they still have the partial palm print, they are now able to run it in a database. Palm prints can be just as unique as fingerprints! Best of luck and I'm so sorry you've had to endure this type of pain.

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    7. As a Christian and a parent who has suffered the pain of losing a child...I can honestly say I understand....but then when I think about it...I was able to lay my 33 month old daughter to rest....

      I believe with all my heart that Michaela is alive..she just hasn't been able to let you know where she is....please know that my family and I continue to lift you and your family up in prayer...my churches at home as well as here in my adopted city of Calgary also conitnue to do so....I believe that when she finds the strength and courage to let someone know...that strength will be from the Father...and she will be able to stand up and tell someone.."here I am...I want to go home".

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    8. Have they tried to reuse the palm print from the scooter with the newer technology we have now days, my sisters dad ended up in jail for 25yrs do to lack of evidence in the 80s/90s for something he didn't do now hes suing the state for false caricature & ruining his whole life

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    9. Yes they have it in the database.

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  3. This makes me so effing angry I'm so sorry you live with this every day I cry just thinking of what it must be like in your darkest hour. I hope someday you learn what happened if you don't see her in this life. If anything you will see her eventually I believe even if it's not on Earth (if you believe that stuff) hugs

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    1. I do believe Michaela's heart and mine are tied together far beyond this one life.

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  4. Did they ever use scent sniffing dogs?

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    1. They have used them over the years in a number of locations which were under suspicion for various reasons. But I don't think they used them in the beginning, because they are not able to track a scent once the victim is in a car, which we know Michaela was.

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  5. Did anyone report seeing the car driving erratically down Mission Boulevard? Was someone holding Michaela down, or was she waving for help? There must be someone out there who saw something. The traffic on Mission Boulevard is heavy. Do you think a second person was involved? I googled "Meth use" and it said meth abusers develop severe acne/boils/pockmarks that can go away with time.

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    1. Yes, someone did see the car driving erratically down the street, but she did not report seeing the people inside the car.

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  6. Do you still shop in the market?? even though im sure dread it ?

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    1. I never shopped in the market before or after, and I don't live in the same city now.

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    2. Do you think the kidnapper may have frequented the store? Maybe went back?

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    3. He was not familiar to the people who worked in the store, so I doubt it.

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  7. I don't remember how, but I stumbled across this blog a couple of months ago and have been checking back ever since. I feel in my heart that one day this case will be solved. I will keep you and Michaela in my prayers.

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  8. I am so sorry you and your family have gone through this horror. Just reading about it makes me cry and I'm so angry at whoever did this. I read about the bone fragment they found from your blog yesterday. I'm praying you finally get some answers. (hugs)

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  9. This is so horrible but your love for your daughter still is really remarkable. I hope for a miracle one day. Do you still talk to Trina?

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    1. Yes, I love Trina, and we are still in touch.

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  10. Bjorn (dabiek@hotmail.comOctober 25, 2012 at 6:46 AM

    Dear Sharon,

    I don't know what to say, or how to react. I am going to be a father soon (in about 6 months) so I think I start to understand what you have been going through and what you are going through up to now. I think you are doing a great job by posting your feelings and thus keeping the memory of Michaela alive. I sincerely hope she will be found! The one who did this does not deserve to live. I can not explain the anger I feel towards the person(s) who did this. We live in a freaky world...

    ...from the Netherlands...

    ...I feel your pain... :'(! Hang on Sharon! Hang on Michaela!

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  11. Hi Sharon, I recently heard that they are searching on the property of the Masonic Home off of Mission Blvd in Union City. Apparently they have a very strong lead about this. Is this true and has there been any progress?

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  12. I stumbled upon your blog & felt like I needed to to say ... something. I am so very, very sorry to hear this story. I truly hope that you find your daughter & the answers you seek.

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  13. Hi, I just found your blog. I can't imagine the pain and difficulties you've been through, and I can't say how much I feel sorry about this situation. We can't control many things in the world, but we have the right of believe and chose ways to follow, and thinking of it, I'll support you for what happened to you and your family, and I'll pray for all of you. There's is a song which says:
    "Theres is power in the name of Jesus, to break every chain".
    That's what I believe, that Jesus is real and is looking at you right now and that there's power in his name, to heal, to love, and break all kinds of chain.

    Love you in Christ Sharon,

    Alana

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    1. Alana I'm definitly with you there There is definitly power in the blood!!!!.....I just came across this blog to and i'm praying hard for the family.

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  14. Heart breaking story. I'm so sorry this has happened to you and your family. I shed a tear as i was reading the article about the disappearance of Michaela. I sincerely hope that you and your daughter are re-united someday. I am not a parent but i do have a baby sister who is 5 years old and i would absolutely be suicidal if anything ever happened to her. Keep strong, and keep the faith, Never give up, good things happen to good people and i believe you are a a good person.

    Michaela is in our prayers

    From London, United kingdom

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  15. Sharon my heart goes out to you and your family. I'm praying for the safe return of your daughter.

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  16. Hello Sharon, this has touched me, I have a daughter and she is 18 years old now, I know police in the States is very efficency, sometimes going back to little things can make a big difference, with technology now, maybe they can re-check the scooter and find more evidence. May God keep giving you strenght to keep looking for Michaela, I really admire you because I don't think I could do what you have done so far. I will pray for you and Michaela.
    From: San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

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  17. I am so sorry Sharon. My heart is, literally, broken to pieces. With waht happened in Ohio recently.... Oh dear. You are stronger than me.

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  18. Don't give up faith and don't lose hope...I believe you and Michaela will find each other again...Prayers for you and your family.

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  19. Praying for a miracle for your family. In such situations I can only think there is a God who KNOWS and CAN do anything.
    I just wish horrific creatures like the ones who kidnapped your daughter could be prevented from ever existing in the first place. Words fail me here - but I WILL pray.

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  20. Hello!

    I just came across your page and read your daughter´s story and your search for her, which has really moved me a lot. Being Austrian and a German native speaker, I thought I could support you by translating the "Wherever you may be" section into German for you:

    "Michaela wurde 1988 im Alter von neun Jahren entführt. Ich bin ihre Mutter und suche noch immer nach ihr. Falls Sie irgendwelche Informationen über Michaelas Aufenthalt haben, schreiben Sie bitte an missingmichaela@gmail.com.
    Michaela, falls du diese Nachricht hier liest sollst du wissen, dass ich dich für immer und ewig lieben werde, komme was wolle. Bitte, komm nach Hause zurück!"

    I hope I could help!
    Love,
    Ursula

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  21. I am praying for you, and your beautiful daughter Michaela. May God return her to you!! Keep hope alive!

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  22. Hi Sharon!

    I saw your interview and it melted my heart. I'm from Orlando, Florida and I want to help you in anything I can. I work at a radio station so I'll make sure to post it in the social medias etc.

    Also, I have a curious question. Where is Trina, have you spoke to her? Are there any details she remembers? I know she was a little girl as inocent as Michaela. My hearts goes out to you, so you can get your dauther back.

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    1. Trina lives in another state, is married and has two kids. I keep in touch with her and love her dearly. She does still help in any way she can with the investigation.

      Thanks, Tatianna.

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  23. Wow, apparently I don't read very well. You just answered my question above. silly me.

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  24. I just came across your webpage I am so praying she comes up someday its never to late , i have 6 boys and so scared of the world we raise our kids in , I am praying for you dearly so sorry.is there help I can provide

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  25. I Pray God helps you too find her and get her back too you..from mother to mother i am so sorry and i pray for you and Michaela.. I had read her scooter was by a car..is there a color or model of that car ??

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  26. I am a mother of 3 daughters and a granny. I can't imagine the heartache and pain you have suffered all these years.:( I pray Michaela is somewhere alive and eventually will surface. Like the 3 girls in Ohio that were held prisoner for 10+ years,and of course Stacy Dugard and many others found years later alive.I admire your strength and determination,of course the love of a chilld creates that strength.<3 I live in Ca. and am apalled that our Governor is letting criminals out only to reoffend :( I hope the Hayward detectives keep on the case and again,I pray for Michaela's return.

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  27. Shared your story in Madison WV. I can only imagine what your family has went through and still does. God Bless.

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  28. Didnt anyone see the guy take the scooter from the market if it was by the door where they left it someone had to have seen the man move it & where were the teen girls that they were also supposed to be with them at the market

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  29. There were no teen girls there or supposed to be there. It was not a supermarket, and the parking lot was not busy.

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  30. I shared your daughter's picture on my Facebook. I was only vaguely familiar with her story because I was very, very young with she was first taken but I've now read up on it much more. I am a mother myself to two small boys and I sob every time I read a new post of yours or re-read her abduction story. I know this won't mean much, but I told my husband the other week that I find myself looking at everyone around me to see if they could possibly be her. I read Jaycee Dugard's book about how she would go in public and keep her head down and kept thinking that at any second someone was going to notice her and realize who she was. But no one noticed or saw. I am in Tennessee and I'm looking around me now. I hope she's safe and you get to hold her again. I would want someone to do the same for me.

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  31. Since I was around 13 I have been checking the Polly Klaas' master list of missing children nearly religiously (every Sunday evening) just because I want so badly to be able to identify one of these poor missing children. I wish so much that I will one day be walking down the sidewalk, see someone who is somehow familiar, and realize it's one of the faces on the news and the internet.

    I don't know why I am so 'obsessed' with these types of stories, but Michaela's is one I've been following since I first heard about it-I'm only 20 now and so wasn't alive when it happened, but I still think of it often and read this blog frequently. I can only imagine the pain that the false leads bring you, or the overwhelming relief when a dna sample on remains comes back negative.

    I will continue to keep you and the rest of your family in my thoughts. What's more, I will keep an eye out for Michaela, like I do for all the missing children I have researched and studied in depth. May you find peace, somehow.

    Love from Canada.

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  32. This is such a devastating story... After showing this to a few of my friends, we've all decided to keep Micheala in our prayers for the rest of our lives up until the time she's found. We'll be praying she'll be found alive and well. It's so sad that so much of her life has been robbed from her, and we hope when she's freed from her kidnapper that she'll be able to take back the rest of her life. #ForeverWithMicheala

    - With hope and prayers, a believer from Australia.

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  33. I know what happened. This is not a joke.

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    1. I’m not a parent & have never had a loved one go missing. I’m not going to lie & tell you I completely understand what you have been through regarding Michaela’s disappearance.
      I’ve read your blog for a few years now. At one time I felt connected to you through reading your blog. I suffer from clinical depression that went untreated for years. During that time,several years ago, I had actually called that cell phone number you have posted. When you answered the phone, I felt like a dope & simply apologized and said I had dialed the wrong number. At the time I felt so connected to you, that I felt I could simply call the number and talk to you, like friends. Now, years later and having been treated for my depression I understand how badly my behavior was at the time. I can’t begin to apologize for having even dialed that number.
      When people post these above comments, “I know what happened. This is not a joke.” It’s either a cruel joke or someone who is mentally ill & is unable to separate fantasy from reality.
      The text you got today “Sharon? Sorry I have the wrong number” Whoever sent you that text message today, it was NOT Michaela, it was NOT person who took her, hell it isn’t even someone who has information pertaining to any of this. It is someone with depression, mental illness, or random non mentally ill person whose morbid curiosity got the better of them. I can tell you from personal experience, the person who sent you that text, feels far worse by their behavior then you ever well.

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    2. Thanks, Angie. Honestly I have had a whole lot of leads from people who said that they knew what had happened to Michaela, and their information was delusional. I'm guessing that is the case with these comments today (there were actually two left, on two different blog entries). But it could actually be someone who knows what happened to Michaela. If it is, then they should just say what they know. The information can be sent anonymously in a comment, and I will get it in my email and will not publish it in my blog, but I will see that it gets to those who can investigate it. If there are any follow up questions, I will leave them here. So, if someone knows what happened, tell us. Thanks.

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    3. And Angie, I am glad you are doing better. Depression is so hard to deal with, I know. <3 Did you get treatment through medication or therapy or both?

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    4. If you do know what happened, please inform the police without further ado. If not, go away and get your heartless kicks elsewhere.

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  34. I have been doing both therapy & medication. I was diganosed with major clinical depression in my late 20s. I am now in my early 40s. I do far better now than I did in my 20s. My depression is more seasonal. Winter months is a beast. During my child, I can't recall ever having that cycle of yearly depression. My childhood was a happy one. I've never been clear what caused or triggered this viscous cycle as an adult of yearly seasonally depression. Its hard always feeling stuck & always having that feeling of its never going to get any better than this & simply wanting to feel genuinely happy on a daily bases. Sharon, I genuinely hope one day you find out what happen to your daughter, Michaela. Its not fair you have had to go all these years and not know what happen to your baby & worry about her. Blessings to you & your family.

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  35. Please correct me if I am mistaken but wasn't there an issue with the car description? It seems I remember reading that the cashier that called 911 reported the car as burgundy when it was actually gold. If I am remembering correctly, how did that come about?

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    1. Yes that's right. The discrepancy was between the eyewitness description and the description given by someone who thought she had seen him drive by earlier but didn't actually witness the kidnapping.

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  36. Oh ok. I thought it was suspicious that Trina said golf but the cashier reported it as burgundy but I guess that wasn't the case.

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    1. That is the case. Trina was the eyewitness and the cashier is the person who thought she had seen him drive by earlier. The cashier didn't witness the kidnapping.

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  37. My heart breaks for you. As a mother I'm not able to even try and imagine without being overcome with an intense pain and desperate panic unlike any that someone should know. And that's when I just imagine for a second if my baby were taken From me.
    Just know that she is not forgotten by anyone. Even people who don't know her. I was a child when this happened and I still think of her. That's how I ended up here.
    I pray that your girl will be found.

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  38. I don't know how you still have so much strength, I admire you more than you will ever know. Our children are our everything and we basically live for them. I cant imagine anyone would ever expect you to "give up" or "let go". You are not delusional you are a loving mother who will always hope her daughter is alive and well somewhere. That's normal, that's love, that's a mother. I hope you find peace someday.

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  39. Sharon, I just wanted to express my sincere compassion for you in this endeavor. I just started working to help find missing kids and was devastated at the number of children disappearing daily. This came about by getting posts of music videos and travel, art videos from unidentified sources that I couldn't trace. I feel they were clues to some of the missing, but haven't been able to have definite proof yet. My point is, keep posting the music (this video is amazing and should give anyone inspiration to keep fighting if they are out there trying to get back home). There are a lot of organizations working to get children back, so don't give up until you get some answers. The year your daughter disappeared was during some of those years when young children were being abducted for sale to childless couples and this could be the case. Maybe her captives or whomever she went with will tell her the truth or leave some message that will help her find her way back to you. She was old enough to have memories of her life with you, so she will have reason to find her way back, if possible. Miracles happen every day, so don't give up looking. With social media, word gets out to more people and she may even run across your posts. Praying for your success with the video and that she will return to you.

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