14-year-old boy went hunting in the woods — what he found changed his life forever

August 25, 2017 2:58 pm Last Updated: December 10, 2017 4:25 pm


It was a day like any other in southern Indiana in 1955. Dave Hickman, then 14, went hunting in the woods near the town of Boston with his grandfather. What he found there changed his life forever.

It was a day he hasn’t forgotten once in 58 years.

The 14-year-old was in the woods hunting in southern Indiana when he heard an “odd sound” that just wouldn’t go away. It was a soft cooing sound. He followed it to a fence where he hopped up, looked down, and there it was—a baby laying in the weeds.

The newborn was soaking wet, with blue lips, wrapped in a towel.

His grandfather knew they had to act fast.

Dave and his grandfather brought the baby to the hospital, where she was nursed back to health and given a name, Roseann Wayne. A few months later 14-year-old Dave was called in to say goodbye to the newborn he had saved.

She was being adopted.

“They had her wrapped in a blanket, she was sound asleep, so I got to say goodbye to her.”

Dave could never forget the little baby girl. The moment he said goodbye always lingered in his mind, and he never gave up looking for her.

In 2013, in a final attempt to track her down, he called retired Sheriff John Catey to “see what he could do” to find the baby he had found in the woods 58 years ago, and less than two weeks later, Hickman got a call back with some good news—a name and a number.

“That’s your little girl.”

Mary Ellen Suey with her adoptive family.

Roseann Wayne was adopted and renamed Mary Ellen Suey. She had a happy childhood with wonderful memories, but like Hickman, Suey had always wondered about the 14-year-old boy who had saved her life. Suey told CBS, “If it hadn’t been for Dave I wouldn’t be here right now.”

And finally, after 58 years, she received a phone call from Hickman.

“It was almost like I had known Dave for years.”

In an emotional reunion, Hickman finally met the baby he saved that day in the woods. He presented Suey with flowers and the two bonded over their memories.

“I see that image of her laying in the weeds and me standing on top of the fence every day of my life, and I’ll probably always see that, but at least now I know there is a happy ending.”

Suey said of Dave, “It’s kind of like he’s my big brother that I didn’t know I had.”