As a fourteen-year-old boy, Dave Hickman loved to go out and hunt with his grandfather. The two would spend an entire day in the woods. They bonded over conversations they shared during these moments.
But one day, the unthinkable happened. While hunting, Dave heard a startling sound coming from the forest.
He tells CBS, “September 22, 1955, I’d been hunting with my grandfather. And I kept hearing a very odd sound. It wasn’t the sound of a baby crying, it was more of a soft cooing sound. I said, ‘I have to find out what this is.’ So I started walking up the fence.”
He investigated and took a closer look. That’s when he found her.
A baby girl had been abandoned in the woods. She was extremely cold and was wrapped in an old, wet towel. Without hesitation, Dave grabbed her and immediately tried to warm her up. She was in danger of hypothermia.
While doing this, Dave rushed out of the forest and attempted to alert the authorities.
Dave recalls, “I got on top of the fence, I looked down, and there was a little baby. She was soaking wet. Her lips were blue. She was just wrapped in a towel. My grandfather said, ‘We have to do something real quick, we have to get help for the baby’.”
This event happened 60 years ago, and this moment had been ingrained in his mind ever since.
He can’t help but cry when he thinks what happened that fateful September day.
“I’ve seen that image of her laying in the weeds, and me standing on top of the fence every day of my life. And I’ll probably always see that…
The baby girl was given to the authorities, and they named her Roseann Wayne. News outlets covered the story, trying to spread word about the baby and hopefully reach the baby’s parents. However, no one came forward to claim the baby girl.
Weeks later, Roseann was adopted by a loving family. Dave was heartbroken. He had to say goodbye to a little baby, but he knew she would be better off with them.
“They handed her to me and they said, ‘She’s being adopted next week.’ They had her wrapped in a blanket. She was sound asleep. So I got to say goodbye to her,” he said.
Dave spent the rest of his life moving forward, but he couldn’t shake a strange feeling. He wanted to see the little girl that he found in the woods one last time. He wanted to know how she was doing, and if she turned out alright.
He hired a private investigator in 2013 to help facilitate the search. After a lot of hard work and searching, he received a phone call that he will never forget.
“[Catey] said, ‘Dave write down this name and this phone number — Mary Ellen Suey and her phone number.’ I said, ‘OK John, who’s that?’ (He said) ‘That’s your little girl.’ ”
In the video below, Dave finally reunites with the baby he saved 58 years prior, and it will warm your heart.
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