RADCLIFF, Ky. – An elderly Kentucky woman was overjoyed during a reunion with her son 55 years after a he was kidnapped by a babysitter and disappeared from her life, until now.
The emotional moment between Anna-Mary Barnett and Jerry Barnett occurred Friday in Radcliff, Ky., WLKY-TV reported.
“Oh my goodness, you talk about excited. Oh Lord!” she said, according to the station.
Her son was 5 years old in 1965 when a babysitter she didn’t know well disappeared with the boy. Barnett was a teenage mom at the time.
Jerry Barnett told relatives and WLKY News that during that time, the kidnapper moved him to Delaware, then abandoned him.
With no details on his family and no records, the foster care system took him in, assigning him the last name Thomas and an estimated birth date.
The reunion came about after his son, Damon Parker, took a DNA test for a website and discovered he had a cousin — and a grandmother — in Kentucky, according to the station.
With the help of his newly discovered cousin Will Barnett, Parker learned of his father’s history. On Friday, Parker drove his father from Delaware to Kentucky for a jaw-dropping reunion.
“I was scared to get out the car,” Jerry Barnett said. “There was a mob (of people). I thought somebody was going to kidnap me again.”
55 years after being kidnapped by babysitter, man reunites with mother in Hardin County https://t.co/6TqvFXUNUw
— WLKY (@WLKY) February 28, 2020
Anna-Mary Barnett and members of her family said they asked agencies for help finding her son to no avail, WLKY reported.
“I was so scared. I mean, it was during the (civil rights) movement,” she told the station.
Will anyone re-open an investigation?
The family said that they were turned away by at least one unnamed agency. They believe the mother’s age and race led some officials to disregard their claims.
For now, they are focused on catching up with Jerry Barnett.
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