A man haunted by the memory of finding an abandoned newborn baby searched for decades to relocate her. Dave Hickman cited the grace of God for aligning his and the baby’s locations that day back in 1955; he was hunting with his grandfather in southern Indiana. Finding the baby changed his life.
Plagued by the mystery of the baby girl’s fate, Hickman’s search spanned 58 years. But after a last-ditch attempt to find her, the pair were finally united in May of 2014.
Dave Hickman found a baby in the woods while hunting in 1955. He spent the next 58 years trying to track her down.
Coincidentally, Hickman was 14 when he found the baby girl. “I’d been hunting with my grandfather,” Hickman recalled, speaking to CBS This Morning. “I kept hearing a very odd sound. It wasn’t the sound of a baby crying, it was more of a soft cooing sound.” He found the sound impossible to ignore, so went to investigate.
“I got on top of the fence,” he continued. “I looked down, and there was a little baby. She was soaking wet. Her lips were blue.” The baby was wrapped only in a towel, an emotional Hickman continued, and the hunting duo quickly abandoned their outing to alert the authorities.
The newborn was treated at a local hospital where staff named her Roseann Wayne. “They handed her to me,” Hickman said, remembering how the hospital allowed him a moment to say goodbye some weeks later. “They said, ‘She’s being adopted next week.'”
And she was. Roseann became Mary Ellen Suey, and her adoptive family relocated to California. But none of this was known to Hickman, and as he grew older, the mystery played on his mind.
On September 22, 1955, I was honored by God to have been led to an abandoned baby left in an Indiana field. After…
On the verge of giving up, Hickman contacted retired Wayne County Sheriff John Catey in December of 2013. Hickman “wanted to know if I could figure out how to find the girl that he had found in the woods,” Catey said. According to the Daily Mail, Catey made it a personal mission.
The retired sheriff came through. He called Hickman within two weeks with a name and a number. “Who’s that?” Hickman asked. “That’s your little girl,” Catey replied. Hickman plucked up the courage to call, and hearing from her rescuer, Suey was overjoyed. She had always wondered about the identity of the teenage boy who likely saved her life.
“I call him my hero here on Earth,” Suey told CBS, “because if it hadn’t been for Dave, I wouldn’t be here right now.” Fifty-eight years after their first meeting, the pair were reunited amid an emotional gathering of 50 family and friends with cameras. They bonded immediately.
“It’s kind of like Dave’s my big brother,” Suey smiled.
Hickman presented Suey with three roses, one representing each time their paths had crossed. “The first rose is for a little baby girl that God led my grandfather and me to find in the woods,” he shared.
“The second is for the little baby girl named Roseann Wayne that two angels brought to me to say good-bye when I was in school,” he continued. “The third rose is for today, and for a very special lady who was saved by the hand of God, Mary Ellen Suey.” There was not a single dry eye in the room.
Suey harbors no resentment toward her biological parents. Rather, she is grateful for the happy life she has lived thanks to Hickman, his grandfather, and their benevolent actions. “Now I know there’s a happy ending,” Hickman added, in gratitude.