It was a truly shocking scene for a 14-year-old boy to come across.
Dave Hickman and his grandfather were out in the woods hunting. As Dave was walking around looking for some prey he heard some strange cooing. After he heard it for a while he decided to investigate.
That’s when he discovered the cooing was coming from a baby that had been abandoned in the woods! The baby girl was soaking wet with blue lips and she was covered with nothing but a small towel. It was a shocking sight for anyone to see, but especially for a 14-year-old. Although this happened all the way back in 1955, Dave was never able to forget the image of that baby in the woods.
I’ve seen 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.
Some things just seem to stick in our mind as we are unable to ever forget them. I’m sure we all have a memory or two from childhood that we will always remember.
Dave said goodbye to the girl, but he never quite knew what happened to her after she was taken away. In fact Dave has spent many hours over his entire life trying to find out what happened to that baby girl and what her story was. He needed closure.
But one day, out of the blue Dave gets a call from a retired sheriff John Catey and Catey had some incredible news for Dave…
The year was 1955, Dave Hickman and his grandfather had gone hunting in the woods. It seemed like a normal day for the pair until Dave heard a faint cooing that he didn’t recognize. Dave tells CBS of the fateful day.
“September 22, 1955, I’d been hunting with my grandfather. And I kept hearing a very odd sound. It wasn’t the sound of a baby crying, it was more of a soft cooing sound. I said, ‘I have to find out what this is.’ So I started walking up the fence.”
That’s when Dave found the source of the cooing: it was a baby, freezing in the cold and soaking wet.
“I got on top of the fence, I looked down, and there was a little baby. She was soaking wet. Her lips were blue. She was just wrapped in a towel. My grandfather said, ‘We have to do something real quick, we have to get help for the baby’.”
Dave and his grandfather rushed the baby to get help and then the authorities so the baby could find a fitting home. The baby was given the name “Roseann Wayne”.
This horrifying story with a surprisingly happy ending made the news and shocked the community.It was unthinkable anyone would abandon a baby in the woods.
However, after the news had died down everyone but Dave forgot about the story of the girl found in the woods.Dave couldn’t get the image of finding that baby in the woods out of his mind. It followed him for 58 years.
A few weeks later it was time for Dave to say his goodbyes to Roseann as she was getting adopted and would live with her loving family. It was tough for Dave to say goodbye.
“They handed her to me and they said, ‘She’s being adopted next week.’ They had her wrapped in a blanket. She was sound asleep. So I got to say goodbye to her.”
Unfortunately, no one ever told Dave where little Roseann was going. It seemed as though this was the end of the story of little Roseann.
For the next 58 years, Dave desperately tried to find Roseann and meet her once again. His searches hadn’t been fruitful yet but he continued to search. He couldn’t get the image of that little baby out of his mind. But then in 2013 a break finally happened when retired sheriff John Catey called up Dave with some incredible news.
“[Catey] said, ‘Dave write down this name and this phone number — Mary Ellen Suey and her phone number.’ I said, ‘OK John, I said who’s that?’ (He said) ‘That’s your little girl.’ ”
Finally after nearly 60 years of searching Dave had found Roseann or Mary Ellen Suey as she was now known.
I’ve seen 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’s a happy ending.