A woman who went missing as a baby 24 years ago has been found alive and well.
Aleacia Stancil, from Phoenix in the US state of Arizona, disappeared in December 1994 after her mother Toni handed her to friends for a few days to “clear her head” following a battle with drug addiction.
AZfamily.com reports the nine-month-old child was passed around among friends before falling into the hands of authorities, where she was put up for adoption.
Despite being reported missing by her mother months later in 2015 after spending a short stint in prison, a search for her whereabouts proved fruitless and authorities failed to make the connection between the two incidents, local news site KTAR News reported.
Toni Stancil was murdered in 1995, with police later saying her death left them “very limited” with continuing investigations.
Despite a series of age-progression images produced, years passed without any progress into her case until 2014 when a nurse became suspicious of a patient who presented herself at a hospital in Connecticut.
The nurse says she showed up without any ID and she knew very little of her personal history.
The curious nurse then checked a national missing persons list and the details of Aleacia Stancil matched with the girl in the hospital.
She contacted police who then took the girl for DNA testing to see if it matched with DNA previously collected from Ms Stancil’s family members.
Three years later, the results revealed the young woman was in fact Aleacia Stancil.
Ms Stancil had been adopted and went by a different name. She said she didn’t want to be identified and the revelation to disrupt her life however was open to meeting family members.
She later met with her grandmother, Frances Ford, who now lives in Georgia.
“Even after 20-plus years, happy outcomes can come,” Phoenix Police Sergeant Armando Carbajal told KTAR News.
“She doesn’t want it to interfere with her life, but she has indicated that she’s happy that she was able to find out who she was.”