Sisters meet 71 years after youngest disappears

News

Imagine knowing you have a baby sister out there somewhere. She disappeared in the 1950s. That was the reality for two Columbus women. They were finally able to meet their sister in person for the first time on Saturday, March 20, 2021.

Mary and Theodore Brown had three daughters. Two of them, Cheryl Sapp,73, and Jeanette James, 72, live in Columbus, Georgia. Their baby daughter, given the name Donna, disappeared.  Cheryl and Jeanette were told they had a sister when they were in their teens.

“But we had no idea how to find her. We knew that she was in East Saint Louis. That’s all we knew,” said Jeanette James of Columbus, Georgia.

As the parents, Mary and Theodore Roosevelt Brown told the girls, they took their baby Donna with them to East St. Louis, Illinois. They lived life on the wild side. When they had to return quickly to Grand Rapids, Michigan, they left baby Donna with a woman named Vera.  When they returned, Vera and the baby were gone. Donna became Dianna and was raised in Gary, Indiana.

“I knew that the mom who raised me was my adopted mom. I thought until February 14, 2021 that the father who raised me was my biological father,” said Dianna McBride of Chicago, Illinois.

She had no clue she had two biological sisters in Columbus, Georgia until she got a message from a stranger named Cheryl Sapp through Ancestry.com. 

Get the rest of the story on WRBL News Three First Edition at 5/4 central and see the sisters as they meet for the first time in Columbus, Georgia.

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