Aleacia Stancil, who disappeared in Arizona as a baby more than two decades ago, was found alive in Connecticut.
In December 1994, Aleacia's mother, Toni Stancil, left her in the care of a friend, claiming she needed to “clear her head,” as reported by AZFamily.com.
The child who was born in Phoenix was only 9 months old at the time. Follow us on our Twitter account @amomama_usa to learn more.
According to authorities, Toni came back for her daughter two days later, but she was gone.
Unknown to her mother, the little girl was passed along to several people until she wound up in police custody. The officers, however, didn't know the infant's name.
AZFamily.com reported that Toni soon landed in jail without reporting her daughter was missing until March 1995. By then the baby was in the care of Child Protective Services. But the officials didn't link the two cases together.
That same year, Toni was murdered, which further jeopardized the investigation of her missing child.
Phoenix police Detective William Andersen told the news outlet:
“Without that one and only witness, I’m very limited in how to proceed with the investigation.”
In 2014, a break was made in the case on the other side of the country. A young woman showed up at a Connecticut hospital with no identification, officials said.
A nurse found it strange that the woman didn’t know much about herself.
When the nurse searched online for missing people, she discovered an age progression photo of Aleacia. She immediately notified the police and the woman underwent DNA testing to determine if she was a match.
The tests eventually confirmed her identity three years later. As reported by AZFamily.com, Aleacia had been adopted and raised under a different name.
Phoenix police Sgt. Armando Carbajal told news station KTAR:
“Even after 20-plus years, happy outcomes can come.”