A baby that was stolen from her mother as a baby 17-years earlier has been found and reunited to her real family.
It was a happy reunion when a baby stolen from her sleeping mother’s arms shortly after birth in South Africa, was found by the family through an astonishing coincidence 17 years later, the police reports.
The perpetrator of the abduction, a 50-year-old woman, has also been arrested and charged with kidnapping after pupils noticed a remarkable likeness between the 17-year-old and her younger biological sister who started attending the same school this year.
DNA tests carried out by police confirmed that the older girl is the daughter of Celeste and Morne Nurse, who was snatched from Groote Schuur hospital as a three-day-old baby named Zephany in April 1997.
The parents, who later had three more children, have celebrated Zephany’s birthday every year since she was kidnapped, never giving up hope that their first-born child would come back to them someday, the Cape Argus said.
Zephany grew up with a different name, and a different family, never knowing she was not their real daughter.
But last month her biological sister, Cassidy Nurse, started high school at the same school as Zephany, and fellow pupils noticed a startling resemblance she bore to a final-year student.
When Cassidy told her parents about the girl, they invited her home for a cup of coffee. When they saw the striking resemblance between the girls, they contacted the police.
Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel André Traut confirmed the find:
"The suspect is being charged with kidnapping, fraud and contravening sections of the Children’s Act, in that she fraudulently pretended that she was the biological mother of a child."
The funny aspect of the whole scenario is that the Nurse family had been living within a couple of kilometres of their kidnapped daughter.