20 years after woman finds newborn baby buried alive in shallow grave, the two reunite

Cheryl Kahla
Feb 04, 2019
03:36 P.M.
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Twenty years ago, a woman taking her dog for a walk along a hiking trail in Pasadena found a newborn baby buried alive. They were reunited two months ago. 


When her dog started digging frantically, Azita Milanian first thought it was a dead animal but was shocked to see a newborn boy, barely breathing. 

After the rescue, the baby was put up for adoption and Milanian didn't see him again, until May when she was reunited with the 20-year-old Matthew Whitaker on Ryan Seacrest's show

Ryan explained that he first heard of the story when Whitaker's friend suggested him for the '23 and Me' DNA testing kit. He added that Whitaker had never met the woman who saved his lie. 

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The show's producer, Patty Rodriquez, contacted Milanian as well and arranged for them to meet. She added: “This also happens to be 20 years from the date that she found him.”

Milanian burst out into tears when she saw Whitaker, and he gently wiped her tears away. Whitaker's first words to Milanian were: "How are you? Thank you. Thank you. You're an angel." 


Milanian decided on the last minute to take her dog for a walk, and her friends still wanted her to go out dancing with them. 


She was feeling anxious and decided to take a walk in the mountains instead. When she arrived at the hiking trail, she also couldn't park in her usual spot either as another hiker had taken her parking bay. 

Milanian explained that after eight years of parking in the same spot and taking the same hiking trail, she was forced to take another path. It ultimately led to her saving Whitaker's life. 

"No, thank you for coming into my life, you changed my life. Because of you, I started 'Save The Children.' Just because of you."

Azita Milanian, YouTube/On Air With Ryan Seacrest, May 17, 2018.


After rescuing Whitaker, Milanian volunteered at Save The Children and later created her own non-profit organization called Children Of One Planet. 

Whitaker's rescue was first reported back in 1998 by the LA Times, and Milanian told reporters: "I was so happy that I was chosen by God to find this child."