Society

American Woman Might Be Child Who Disappeared In 1978

| by Nicholas Roberts
Liliane CyrLiliane Cyr

A Canadian woman whose daughter went missing 38 years ago was recently contacted by an American woman who believes she might be the woman's daughter.

Liliane Cyr, 59, had gone through the experience of her child disappearing from her apartment in the Montreal area when the little girl was 18 months old, National Post reports.

Yohanna disappeared in August 1978 when Cyr left her in the care of her then-boyfriend, Aaron Lewis, while she was out of town for work. Lewis initially told Cyr that Yohanna was being cared for by his parents in Boston, but upon heading to Boston to pick up the toddler, Lewis told Cyr that Yohanna had drowned in a bathtub and he had buried her, reports the Montreal Gazette.

Lewis was arrested and charged with child abduction, but eventually released due to a lack of evidence.

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Several weeks ago, an American woman contacted Cyr on Facebook and cautiously asked her a few questions about Cyr's case. Cyr responded with a question of her own, about a birthmark on her index finger.

The woman responded by saying: "I’m not 100 per cent sure. But I think I might be your daughter."

The woman told Cyr she had started wondering about her past when she turned 18 and discovered that her birth certificate was fake. She had a vague memory of being loaded onto an airplane as a small child, but said her parents never provided clear answers to her questions.

According to Cyr, authorities in the Montreal area are coordinating with American law enforcement so that the woman can have DNA tests done to prove if she is, in fact, Yohanna.  

The results could take weeks or even months to return, and Cyr knows from past experience she should not be overly optimistic. She said a similar event happened 10 years ago with a different woman. At the time, Cyr was convinced the woman was her daughter, but DNA tests proved otherwise.

"In my heart, I hope it’s her," said Cyr.

"There can’t be 50,000 people with that mark on their finger, can there?"

Sources: Montreal Gazette, National Post / Photo credit: CBC News

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