Uncovering the Unsolved: Volume 3



Delaney Rice

DNA testing is constantly evolving and unsolved cases from as long as decades ago have been reopened and receiving new information. There are millions of unsolved homicide, kidnapping, and crime cases all over the world that investigators have not been able to solve due to the lack of DNA testing. Now that our scientists have been working tirelessly to evolve this process, unsolved cases have been rapidly reopening. 

Melissa Highsmith was finally reunited with her long lost family after 51 years. Her mother thought she would never see her baby girl ever again. Thankfully due to  https://www.23andme.com/, an at home DNA test kit, the highsmith family has finally been reunited after decades of no answers. 

In 1971, Melissa Highsmith was abducted in Texas when she was just 21 months old. Melissa’s mother had placed an ad in the newspaper for a babysitter. Her mother hired a woman named Ruth Johnson to babysit Melissa a few days later and when she came by to watch her, Ruth had taken her and nobody ever saw her again. It turns out that Melissa had been given the name Melanie by the woman she believed to be her mother and they lived in the same Texas town this entire time. Melissa said that she did not grow up in a loving home and ended up running away and becoming homeless at just 15 years old. Melissa grew up to have children and live a somewhat normal life, while her biological family was still devastated over her disappearance in 1971. Melissa’s parents went on to have a son, Melissa’s biological brother, just a few years after Melissa’s disappearance. This past year in 2022 Melissa’s Brother, Jeff, took a 23andMe DNA test connecting him to his nieces and nephews, Melissa’s Children. He ended up meeting up with one of Melissa’s Children and it was confirmed that Melissa is alive and well living in the same town. On Thanksgiving Day, the Highsmith family was reunited and Melissa was found after all of these years. The family shares out on social media and news reports show out to report this memorable moment for the family. They say it changed their lives forever to finally find their daughter. 

Although this case is not all sunshine and rainbows, investigators are still looking for Melissa’s kidnapper, Ruth Johnson. Since Melissa ran away at such a young age they have no clue where her kidnapper could be. Investigators continue the search of Melissa’s kidnapper to hopefully put somebody behind bars for this tragedy, but as of now the highsmith family is happily reunited. Stay tuned for Volume 4 of Uncovering the Unsolved.