20 Years Later, Missing Girl Reappears With Children Of Her Own – And Speaks Spanish

Published on 10/03/2020
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Cynthia Haag, a mother, hesitated to transfer out of her home in Baltimore for 20 years. The woman was determined to stay just in case her child might return. Her daughter, Crystal, vanished without a trace when she was around 14 years old.

Unanswered

There had been so many unresolved questions since Crystal disappeared. Why did her daughter leave, and where did she plan to go? Was her daughter all right? Was she ever going back home? Cynthia had hoped sincerely that the day would come, and Crystal would come back. Never did she know it was going to happen.

Unanswered

Unanswered

Single Mom

Back in 1997, Cynthia was a single parent of four, employed at the supermarket, only working to make sure her children had a meal on the plate and decent clothes. She worked diligently, both at the shop and at home. Things got rough, but she pulled it off for her kids.

Single Mom

Single Mom

Just Another Day

Just then, Cynthia worked at the supermarket, as expected, when Crystal walked in to get some milk and cereal before going back home. Cynthia didn’t worry about it at all as it was a regular thing at the time. All Cynthia said to her daughter was “Stay around the house today” and Crystal said she was going to. It was the last time Cynthia had seen her 14-year-old daughter.

Just Another Day

Just Another Day

Nowhere

When Cynthia returned home from work, her daughter was nowhere to be found. The concerned mother called friends, relatives, anybody who could know where Crystal might be. The mother refused to accept that her daughter was missing. She knew she had no choice but to contact the authorities.

Nowhere

Nowhere

The Baseball Cap

The thought of Cynthia was running through all the bleak possibilities. What happened to her daughter? From the whole time forward, she was searching for Crystal in the face of any brown-haired child. “She always wore a baseball cap,” Cynthia said. But she knew it wasn’t enough to identify her.

The Baseball Cap

The Baseball Cap

Years Passing

Two decades passed since the authorities ended their search for Crystal. The girl was already gone. Just then, Cynthia received a call from one of her other daughters. She said she got a message from Crystal on Facebook. What is it? Her long-lost child unexpectedly resurfaced. What was going on?

Years Passing

Years Passing

News

Cynthia had a tough time accepting the news, but as soon as the mother saw the Facebook profile, she recognized that it was her daughter. Half an hour later, Cynthia’s older daughter, Bianca, was driving to New York City, where Crystal had been staying. Crystal emerged late that night. They couldn’t believe what was happening.

News

News

Reunited

The length of Crystal’s hair was short, and her daughter was fluent in Spanish. She had children and was now Crystal Sanders. She wasn’t 35 as she was supposed to be, and said she was 44 years old. None of these modifications mattered to her family. Crystal was finally at ease. “Still my pretty girl,” said Cynthia, embracing her. For all the better, the most challenging part was starting.

Reunited

Reunited

What Happened

There was much more to the narrative than everyone realized. There was a very particular explanation for why Crystal ran and hid. In reality, she had reached the point that she literally could no longer bear it. She realized that she had to go. But why was that? And where was she going to end up?

What Happened

What Happened

Making The Decision

After Crystal fled, she didn’t have any money, and she couldn’t go anywhere, but she knew she had to go with it. The daughter ran away from something horrible – a person that she couldn’t be close anymore for a single second.

Making The Decision

Making The Decision

New Beginning

Crystal came up with a plan the night she left. The first thing the 14-year-old did was hop on a bus to New York City. She turned into Crystal Saunders when she got off. She was nine years older and had a fabricated driver’s license to prove it. What would she have done next?

New Beginning

New Beginning

Different Life

When she got a new name, Crystal got some odd jobs that include cleaning the building. The child found a place to live in the Bronx. We still wanted to know how she got away with her escape. How did no one see her depart? She had thought that through.

Different Life

Different Life

Plan In Action

That particular night, Crystal was with some of her friends pretty much every day. They spent considerable time even until midnight when Crystal fled. She took the little she had and went to the bus to New York City. And so, she started her new life.

Plan In Action

Plan In Action

First Child

It was not even long before Crystal got pregnant with her first child. Through her new name, Crystal was able to get a Medicaid card for herself. She would have three more children. In New York, she became a member of the Dominican community.

First Child

First Child

Community

Crystal was so close to the people in her neighborhood that she called them “grandma” and “cousin” The woman found a whole new family. However, Crystal continued to deal with the past. She couldn’t help that she was haunted by it.

Community

Community

New Language

When time went by, Crystal was living her life. She had four kids, had a new family, and even learned fluent Spanish. But Crystal also made sure to track her old family via Facebook. Why didn’t she maintain contact with them?

New Language

New Language

Thirteen Years

In 2010, the quest for Crystal lasted 13 years. The Baltimore police tried all they could to find the missing girl. At that time, however, they had no choice but to inform her mother, Cynthia, that all attempts to trace her daughter had been “exhausted” After that, Cynthia stopped celebrating Christmas.

Thirteen Years

Thirteen Years

Life Must Go On

And then, being the thoughtful and hopeful mother, Cynthia spent 20 years, ten months, and two weeks hoping to see her beloved daughter again sometime. The mother refused to sell the house – what if Crystal had wanted to move back home?

Life Must Go On

Life Must Go On

Miracle

Never did Cynthia know this would end up occurring. Often, she’s been waiting all that time. When the day came, the mother couldn’t believe what she saw — was it Crystal? Why did she immediately choose to contact her?

Miracle

Miracle

Adjusting

Even though Crystal decided to return to her home, things were entirely different. It had already been over two decades, after all. With all the fun and excitement, there were still issues, problems and concerns that needed to be addressed.

Adjusting

Adjusting

New Relationship

Cynthia and Crystal soon discovered that their relationship would require a lot of effort to be restored. They had a lot of catching up to do, just to name one thing. Apart from that, they were absolute strangers. Where would they start?

New Relationship

New Relationship

Curiosity

After the initial enthusiasm of Crystal’s return settled down somewhat, the mother could not help herself from wondering and had to know the reason. Why did Crystal choose to run away in the first place? Was it something that a single mother did?

Curiosity

Curiosity

Changes

The mother, Cynthia, could not bring herself to ask the dreaded question. She knew it was a sensitive matter and didn’t want to upset Crystal away-she just got back, after all. Cynthia wasn’t sure what could push her away, so she approached gently with her daughter.

Changes

Changes

Unfortunate Statistics

The news that Crystal was able to come home was more than just a fantastic fact-it’s a miracle. Around half a million children would be reported missing each year. Most of them were soon identified or came back home on their own. But what usually happened to the rest of them?

Unfortunate Statistics

Unfortunate Statistics

The Remainder

As for the majority of the missing children, a small number of them could take months to get back with their families. For an even smaller proportion than that, a hunt may take up to a year, or even two. And what about the rest of it?

The Remainder

The Remainder

The Rest

Typically, the last remaining fraction of missing children were never seen again. A lost child seldom returned home after being lost for as long as Crystal had been. When they came back, people would expect a “fairy tale ending.” That’s not always the case, though.

The Rest

The Rest

Rebuilding

As we said, when a lost child returned home after several years, the matter would turn even more complicated. It was not comfortable enough to reboot their lives back home, as if nothing had happened. There were also emotions on both sides that needed to be resolved, and it would take a lot of patience. And what was going to happen to the mother-daughter duo?

Rebuilding

Rebuilding

Time Period

In reality, the longer an individual was gone, the more challenging it would be to rebuild or reestablish a relationship with them. Yet, Cynthia didn’t care about it. Everything she cared about was that her daughter was back at home and safe. What were they going to do next?

Time Period

Time Period

Missing Children In The U.S.

Take a peek at the lost children in the United States. There were a few various categories of missing children such as runaways, family abductions, lost or “thrown away” and non-family abductions. With the systems that we had, there were multiple approaches to notify the authorities when a child was missing. But how many children were missing in the US?

Missing Children In The U.S.

Missing Children In The U.S.

Current Active Cases

As per the FBI National Crime Information Center Missing Person File, known as the NCIC, there were reportedly 87,438 known missing persons. In truth, 30,618 of them were children under the age of 18. It was 35% of them! But how were the authorities going to identify these people?

Current Active Cases

Current Active Cases

AMBER

A system was in place specifically for missing children, and it was known as “AMBER (America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response) Alerts are emergency messages broadcast when a law enforcement agency determines that a child has been abducted and is in imminent danger. The broadcasts include information about the child and the abductor, including physical descriptions as well as information about the abductor’s vehicle – which could lead to the child’s recovery.”

AMBER

AMBER

Alert System

In 1996, the AMBER alert system had been named in honor of Amber Hagerman, a 9-year-old who was kidnapped and killed in Texas. Since then, all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands have had AMBER alerts in effect. The AMBER Alert program had been associated with the safe return of an unprecedented 985 children.

Alert System

Alert System

Federal Law

When a child was reported missing, federal law required the child to enter the FBI’s National Crime Information Center, and as per the FBI, there were 421,394 entries for missing children last 2019. The total number of missing children entries was 424,066 in 2018.

Federal Law

Federal Law

Reports

The figure was the number of missing children’s cases. Assuming that if a child ran away multiple times a year, each occasion, the NCIC was entered separately and counted in the cumulative sum of the year. If the entries were deleted or changed, the total number would also be affected.

Reports

Reports

Children Missing

Approximately 800,000 children were reported missing every year in the US —about 2,000 per day. Out of these, there were 115 child cases of “stranger abduction” every year. This indicated an unidentified individual kidnapped the child.

Children Missing

Children Missing

Missing Persons

According to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, more than 600,000 individuals were missing every year in the United States. Luckily, several lost children and adults were found swiftly – living and safe. However, there were still tens of thousands of people who had been missing for more than a year. These cases are what agencies classified “cold cases.”

Missing Persons

Missing Persons

Unidentified

There were an estimated 4,400 unknown bodies found every year. Thousands of those bodies were still unidentified after a few years. There were some examples of people who were missing for several years, and the authorities were still searching for them. One of those people was Crystal.

Unidentified

Unidentified

Lisa Irwin

A 10-month-old baby had been missing from her crib when she was sleeping at Kansas City. The last location where the baby was seen was in her crib. According to her mother named Deborah Bradley, 10;30 p.m. when she looked her baby in her place on October 3, 2011. What did happen to the child?

Lisa Irwin

Lisa Irwin

Overnight Shift

Jeremy Irwin, the father of the baby, came home at 4 a.m on the next morning and had a schedule of the overnight shift. The parents of the missing baby reported everything to the authorities. Was their child found?

Overnight Shift

Overnight Shift

Suspicions Arose

After an interview, The authorities were wary about the parents of the child. The missing child’s mother stated that the police suspected her that she did something to her child. The mother also failed the polygraph test. However, the case had no suspect. The missing baby should be two years old in the year 2012, but she was not the only one who had gone missing.

Suspicions Arose

Suspicions Arose

Taken From The Crib

Ayla Reynolds was only 20 months old when she was reported missing at Waterville, Maine. It was also recorded as the most extensive police investigation in the history of the state. December 16, 2011, a person took Ayla when she was sleeping at her crib reported by her father named Justin DiPietro.

Taken From The Crib

Taken From The Crib

Bedtime

According to her Ayla’s father, he placed his daughter in her bed. However, the next morning after he woke up, he could not find her daughter. There were few adults inside their home, and one of them was not their relative. The daughter was in her father’s home while his mother named Trista Reynolds was doing rehab because of substance abuse.

Bedtime

Bedtime

Open Case

The authorities thought that if Ayla was not kidnapped and might have already passed away. The case also had no suspect. The investigation of the missing person was still “open and active” said by Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland. However, she was not the only one who was missing in the same case.

Open Case

Open Case

Spring Break

On Spring Break, Drexel, a New York teenager, had been missing since April 25, 2009. The missing girl was 17 years old, and the place where she had last seen was Myrtle Beach, SC. She went to the beach coming from her home in Rochester, NY, but her mother did not want her to go.

Spring Break

Spring Break

No Arrests

There were no arrests when Drexel had been missing. At BlueWater Resort where she was last seen on the surveillance, She went to a group of Rochester men. It was after she left with her friends. We could also think that Crystal wanted to leave their home. However, she planned everything just to escape when she aided her friends to babysit.

No Arrests

No Arrests

Talking

Cynthia and Crystal decided to have a conversation about what happened when she disappeared. Cynthia recalled that her fourth child was a kind daughter who was terrific and brought home an award when she was in fifth grade. The mother also knew that her daughter liked to attend school and was also friendly. However, it was not the same for Crystal.

Talking

Talking

Different Memories

Crystal’s mother remembered the happy memories with her daughter, but she did not think the same way. The girl who left their house only recalled how she could not get along with her siblings. Crystal always thought of a way on how she could escape from this nightmare. She was not a jolly girl that her mother thought.

Different Memories

Different Memories

Final Decision

Crystal thought of a way to escape from her home. She decided to do her plan when she was with her friends. Crystal said, “And then it was 12 [a.m.], and I wasn’t going back.” The girl who wanted to leave her house planned on how she could get out of this situation.

Final Decision

Final Decision

Waiting Outside

Crystal left their house and went to her friend’s home. She planned to wait outside while her friends tried to gather the kids. It was the last time her relatives and friends saw her. After her friends returned where Crystal stayed, she could no longer be found. They thought that “she just decided to leave.” People who knew Crystal did not realize that she was now missing. The time they knew Crystal disappeared when they got a phone call from her mother, who was asking where his daughter was staying.

Waiting Outside

Waiting Outside

Disappearance

A source said, “At the time of her disappearance, Crystal was 5’4″-5’6″ tall and weighed 140 pounds. She had light brown hair and brown eyes. She usually wore her hair pulled back into a ponytail. She was wearing a gray and red striped Tommy Hilfiger shirt, blue denim jeans, white footie socks, gray New Balance sneakers, and a gold C-shaped ring.” It was the only information that was learned about Crystal when she disappeared.

Disappearance

Disappearance

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