Kidnapped Girl Found 19 Years After Disappearing Without a Trace

Savanna Catherine ToddA man from South Carolina finally found his long lost daughter, kidnapped 19 years ago when she was just 10 months old. Born Savanna Catherine Todd in South Carolina, she's been living life as Samantha Geldenhuys all the way across the world in Australia!

Imagine suddenly finding out you were the victim of a crime you can't actually remember? Samantha, or rather Savanna, was kidnapped in 1994, during what was supposed to be a supervised visit with her mom, Dorothy Lee Barnett, who was engaged in a custody battle with the girl's father, Harris Todd.


Dorothy, who allegedly lived in Australia under the aliases Alexandria Maria Canton and Alexandria Maria Geldenhuys, is expected to be extradited to the United States to face charges for the alleged kidnapping of her own daughter. Her daughter, who is now 20, appeared at her side in court.

Can you blame her? Cops specifically stated that Samantha/Savanna was leading a "normal life" in Australia when they found her. She may have been kidnapped and torn away from her dad, but in that sense her story is markedly different from the horrible kidnapping stories we're used to hearing: stories like Amanda Berry's or Jaycee Dugard's.

As far as we know, she wasn't tortured or locked away. Thank goodness.

But I certainly don't envy the confusion of having the life that she's always known turned upside down. Her mom is facing serious charges, and all of a sudden she has this dad she has never known. Not to mention her entire life is predicated on a lie.

Legally, ethically, cops owed it to her dad to let Savanna know who she really was and to arrest her mom for the alleged crime. But this case certainly lends credence to that old saying "ignorance is bliss." Her normal life is gone, and now she has to try to find a new normal.

If you were a victim of a crime you don't remember, would you want to know? Why or why not?


Image via Center for Missing and Exploited Children

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