At just three-days-old little baby Zephany was taken from the arms of her parents. The kidnapper, later determined to be the family’s neighbor, raised the girl as her own for an entire seventeen years before justice was served.
Cape Town couple, Celeste and Morne were in utter shock and absolutely devastated waking up to a missing crib. Apparently, their brand new infant had been stolen by a woman dressed as a nurse. Seeing the outfit, no one bothered to question the perpetrator and she walked right through the front doors with the kidnapped child. Left in a world of wonder, pain, and sorrow, Celeste wasn’t sure where to turn.
“It’s heartbreaking as a mom,” said Celeste. “You can’t stop thinking about her.”
Celeste and Morne tried their hardest to move on with their lives. Their family eventually grew to include two precious little girls and a handsome little boy. Never giving up hope, the Nurse family celebrated Zephany’s birthday, complete with cake and hopeful prayers. 17 years later, they were finally answered.
Cassidy Nurse, the couple’s eldest daughter, happened to meet a new classmate at school. The young girl shared her same facial features, expressions, hair color, eye color, nearly everything about her! Immediately, Cassidy felt a strong connection to the girl, explaining the need to get to know her more similar to a compulsion.
Mom and Dad were completely confused and unsure of what to think. Once Cassidy showed them a photo of her and the girl they’d taken in the school bathroom, everything changed.
“I got this feeling inside. I just grabbed my heart and said, ‘This is my daughter. This is my daughter!’” Celeste exclaimed looking at the snapshot of her long lost daughter.
The couple traveled to their childrens’ school immediately to meet the ‘parents’ and request health records, along with a DNA sample. Just as Celeste expected, the young girl was indeed her kidnapped daughter.
Celeste and Morne filed charges against the woman and were able to obtain a conviction in the case. Surprisingly, the mother feels no distain towards the kidnapper. In fact, she wants to meet her.
“When I see the woman that took her, I want to give her a hug,” said Celeste. “When I see her I want to say thank you, you’ve done a good job. Look at my daughter — she’s beautiful inside and out.”
Watch the couples’ heartfelt explanation of their 17-year-long journey in the footage below!