(WSVN) - Imagine growing up with a family only to find out you were abducted as a baby. The Nightteam’s Nicole Linsalata has the story of a Broward woman stolen away.
Growing up, Jessica Lewis never felt like she fit in with her family.
Jessica Lewis, abducted as a baby: “I don’t look like you guys. I don’t act like you guys.”
Her instincts were right. When she was 12 years old, she was told she was adopted.
But it would be another 10 years before she would learn he woman she knew as her stepsister Rose had actually kidnapped her.
Jessica Lewis: “Her story was that I was born in a commune in San Francisco.”
When Jessica was 18 months old, she was living with her mother in the commune. Rose was 17 and living there too.
But Rose didn’t like the way Jessica’s mother cared for her.
Jessica Lewis: “She told her that what she was doing — leaving me alone — was not safe.”
So, Rose took Jessica and left the commune.
Jessica Lewis: “She brought me back to her mother, who lived in Davie.”
After she heard Rose’s bizarre story, Jessica posted her baby pictures on Facebook hoping someone might recognize her.
Jessica Lewis: “I just chalked it up with more information to put in my database of clues.”
So, while Jessica was searching for clues to her identity, it turns out in Virginia, there were people looking for a baby girl stolen 47 years ago.
Gary Marrow, father: “God will bring my daughter back to me.”
In 1971, Gary Marrow’s 18-month-old daughter, Jennifer, disappeared while she and her mother, Gary’s estranged wife Susie, were staying at a commune in California.
Gary Marrow: “I kept always believing that Jennifer was somewhere.”
He said that he and Susie’s family searched for the baby with no success.
Then last year, Gary decided to take a DNA test through Ancestry.com. As fate would have it, Jessica took the same test at home in Florida.
Jessica Lewis: “It said you have a biological relative. I said, ‘That’s my dad?'”
She found his number and called him from her car.
Jessica Lewis: “Hi, my name is Jessica.”
Stunned, he told her what happened.
Gary Marrow: “You’re Jennifer! You’re Jennifer Lee Marrow. You’re not Jessica!”
Jessica Lewis: “You were not born in that commune in San Francisco. You were abducted from that commune.”
The Marrows flew to Fort Lauderdale and the father and daughter enjoyed a hug that was 47 years overdue.
Now, Jessica goes by her given name: Jennifer. And with her dad’s help, she has a new legal identity.
Jennifer Lee Marrow/Jessica Lewis: “There’s a serious miracle. The puzzle is pretty complete now.”
And later, another miracle. With Gary’s help, Jennifer found her mom, Susie, also living in Virginia.
Jennifer Lee Marrow/Jessica Lewis: “She told me that she put me to bed in that commune and when she woke up, I was gone. She gave me a newspaper clipping about them looking for me.”
Forty-seven-years later, a happy ending to a tragic story.
Now, Jennifer is reestablishing important bonds.
Jennifer Lee Marrow/Jessica Lewis: “I feel like I have people out in the world that belong to me, and it’s a very warm, safe feeling.”
Getting to know herself through the family she lost so many years ago.
Jennifer’s stepmother and her stepsister Rose, the one who abducted her from the commune, have both since died.
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