A newborn is kidnapped from a hospital three days after her birth.

A pencil sketch of a small child with a bow l hair cut, Marlene Santana

Marlene Santana

Missing:

Gender: Female
DOB: 10/18/85
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Brown
Defining Characteristics: Born with a medical condition that makes her feet appear somewhat “C” shaped when viewed from the bottom

CASE DETAILS

Every October 18 th , Francesca and Tomas Santana commemorate their daughter, Marlene’s birthday. But every October 18 th is also a time of sorrow for the Santana family because Marlene has been missing since 1985. But in the beginning, all that mattered to Francesca was having a beautiful, healthy baby:

“When my baby was born she was pretty. She was very beautiful. She was the most beautiful baby in the nursery.”

Composite sketch of the abductor.

Composite sketch of the abductor

Three days later, on the 21 st of October, Francesca was preparing to take her baby home when she met a woman outside the Brooklyn hospital’s nursery:

“When I was looking at my baby in the nursery, I saw a woman in the window that told me that my baby was the most quiet one, the prettiest one, and I was glad that she told me that, because I thought she liked my baby.”

A few hours later, at 9:00 PM, Francesca checked out of the hospital. According to Francesca, her two sisters-in-law came to take her home:

“When we were going downstairs, a woman came to me, the same woman that I saw in the nursery. She told me she was waiting for me all day.”

A woman holding a baby and walking towards a white sedan in a deserted junkyard.

The woman took the baby and drove off

According to Francesca, the woman then pulled out a gun and pointed it at the baby:

“She told us to walk or she was going to blow up the head. And, we walked.”

They walked over six blocks at gunpoint. Finally, they stopped near a deserted junkyard. At first, Francesca thought that they were being robbed. The woman demanded that Francesca give her the baby, then got in a car driven by an accomplice and drove off. Francesca was in a state of shock:

“When she took the baby… I didn’t know what to do. I was crying, I tried to stop the car and… nobody helped us.”

A birthday cake with white frosting and pink flowers.

Her family still celebrates Marlene’s birthday

Francesca went to the police and detectives were assigned to the case. She was able to describe the car that had driven away with Marlene. It was a white 1976 Chevy Malibu, with red lettering on its door. At the hospital, police tried to gather descriptions of the mysterious woman. Some believed that she was not a professional criminal, but rather, an emotionally unstable woman unable to have a child of her own. Based on eyewitness descriptions, a composite of the abductor was created. She was white with Hispanic features and no accent. Her hair was dyed reddish blonde, and at the time she appeared to be in her late 20s.

Today, the Santana family is still searching for their missing daughter. She has brown hair and brown eyes and was born with a medical condition that makes her feet appear somewhat “C” shaped when viewed from the bottom. She may celebrate her birthday around Halloween and may have been put up for an illegal adoption in late 1985 or 1986.


Watch this case now on Amazon Prime in season three with Robert Stack and in season five with Dennis Farina. Also available on YouTube with Dennis Farina. Various seasons available now on Hulu.

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61 Comments

  1. Rayelle Bishop

    I was in and out of foster care as a teenager and young adult in some kind of cult like control over me.

    Reply

  2. Rayelle Bishop

    My birth certificates 2 copies were stolen by ex boyfrfiends. If I tell you their names they can kill me.

    Reply

  3. Rayelle Bishop

    Hi, I came from a strange family. I was quiet baby and my mother said that’s what kept me alive. I had my feet corrected at 3 by Shriners with stretches and pigeon toed later to be normal now at 36. I have the same birthday except for March. I was never in public school just private summer schools and private churches with only 2 friends short lived. We traveled a lot. And I was 6 when I finally had a father on my birth certificate and my name changed to Raven Andrea Brenton to Raven Anna Brenton-Bishop and now to Rayelle Anna Bishop out of pressure from my parents at 28. My parents died John William Bishop in 2016 at 79 and Deborah Mary Brenton in 2013 at age 59 on October 7th. I was astranged and abused by the rest of the family and my father. I also had people that were from the area of Wausau, Wisconsin looked after me and looked to be the same cops as some that are still keeping a close eye on me in Cherokee Village, Arkansas. We moved to Bozeman, Montana when I was 6 but it’s such a long story. I was never in school as recorded. And never had a shot or seen by dentists or doctors very often. And never counselors. My full name now is Rayelle Anna Bishop and I’m living currently since 19 in Cherokee Village, Arkansas. I always tried to run off and there were some who tried to take me back. But my mother Debi was too controlling. I never was able to marry but got offered me for sex. My email is rayelle_bishop10@yahoo.com or raven.bishop10@gmail.com. I am now a singer and songwriter in Pop music. I might be this girl. Just so you know there’s nobody on 23andme that I’m related to and my second cousin Barbara Gwidt was a social worker and my mother was a private counselor. My parents who took care of me ended up with blood poisoning. I was told I was one month early and kept for awhile. And the mother didn’t want to hold me as the story of this woman who claimed to be my mother. There was my mother and second cousin who were very controlling and had violent tempers like the father that took care of me and 2 uncles tried to kill me by beating me which I got away. 2 women were involved and one of them was my mother and the other Barb Gwidt. Coincidence maybe. Maybe I told too much. Barb would be close to 80 now. Weird that I didn’t have a S.S.N. number or father at birth! The only difference is that I was always had hazel eyes and dark blonde hair. My claimed mother had an miscarriage and almost died at 21 she said. My mother was 30 when she said she had me. I was an only child. My blanket one of them looked similar in one photo but it thrown away when I became an adult later.

    Reply

  4. Alxandreia Baker

    I live in Maury County and speak with Dr.Derr of Bone and Joint of Franklin the childs orthopedic physician. I am a Kennedy and I can not find my old teachers and my dad or grandfather. Me.Keith Baker Kennedy and Dr.Debbie Baker Kennedy and Dea Attorney Kate Barr Kenndy whom is my aunt. They have been burning my skin and hair for year’s and now poisoning our water supply as in williamsport with bubonic plague and Alabama and Cleveland and Bahamas and china.im also related to President Kim Jung Un. Audrey Yvonne Gilbreath and Rhonda hooks and rose brunette are human traffickers with Omni vision family incorporated beating and raping their clients with labs to prove and cooked documents with political position used as in Senatoe thelma Harper considered as International terrorism with t.i and tiny harriswhom is Christ harrisdaughter and tamika bills girlfriend with her underage nieces and nephew whom have cyber hacked pentagon and raped and human trafficked military families as their solider left their pets contain bubonic plague check their fleas. Also they with original church of God and alpha kappa alpha had Kennedy women raped and q dog fraternity framed for raped and made to rape gay men and lesbian with Mary Kannon . Water supply in States have been compromised and aids put in billionaire county of States and raped in international concerts after Kay Polk and Omni Bills with Takeo and Kalyssa and Leigh hariss hacked the Maury county board of education whom have money missing now. They are also can connected to Jon Bennet murder with the ran some dollar bills having a serial number that is traces to each of their accounts and still active from Michigan and California and New York and Tennessee.My blood type is o

    Reply

  5. Kelly Schultz

    My ex girlfriend contacted the show years ago..she looks like the child in the picture, her “mother” looked exactly like the picture of the kidnapper..my ex has no pictures of her as a young baby..when she asked her mom about her birth, the mom’s only response is “you came from a cabbage patch”. I personally feel that it should be looked into..

    Reply

  6. Arelis M

    To Tianna K.

    I know of a friend that recently found his father through the DNA kits. I believe he used 23 and Me. He sent his sample and the results came back that he matched with a cousin and that their fathers were brothers. I recommend you try those kits and hopefully find a match. On the other hand you can also call the Missing Persons Unit of the New York Police Department 212-694-7781 and tell them your story and how you think that missing child could be you. I also believe the family has a facebook page called ¨Help us find Marlene¨, you should look it up.

    Reply

  7. Kaitlyn B.

    To Tianna K.
    I found some places to get a DNA test if you are still curious. An AABB-accredited DNA laboratory location, a doctor’s office, or a hospital. I hope this helps and you find the answer you are looking for.

    Reply

  8. Tianna K.

    I am interested in taking a DNA test. But where do I go to submit my DNA? I keep being drawn back to this case. My feet are c shaped, same facial structure with all the sketches except for the hair, and skin color is a darker. But the lady looks like my mom. From the hair, dye colors, facial and size structures, the way the woman was speaking, how she said certain things, and height and weight. Especially at the time. My birthday and age have been said to be later, but information from the beginning of my life overlaps over several years. I am scared that I may be the missing baby.

    Reply

  9. Nicole

    my name is Nicole I want to Help find Marlene Santana I want to find the women who took her from the Hospital when she wa Born I will do whatever it takes fo find this person who took her
    I will put her in prison for kidnapping Marlene Santana I will bring her Back home to her parents Francesa and Tomas Santana to the people who Love her and they miss her to ok
    I will find the women who took Marlene Santana from the hospital when she was born I will make that she will be put in Jail for the rest of her for kidnapping Melene Santana
    I will Bring Marlene Santana back home to her parents Francesa and Tomas I promise I will

    Reply

    • Anthony C

      That so nice if you nicole! God bless u

      Reply

    • Geff

      Yeah,Uhuh. It’s a nice thought. How are you going to do that? If I where you I would start looking for the car that matches that description. Someone helped this women. The person who helped her could of been tricked to help her.

      Reply

      • Hero

        Hi sorry 2 say this but covid 19 got me comeing back to this old show. Anyway but this case is unsoveld n no one knows who she was snice its been many years

        Reply

  10. m

    hey,

    did ever known the bloodgroup from the mother or parents ?
    I find it curios to found so less information about the parents e.g. They move quickly to DR.
    No one from the family post, or get a group for search.No many Photos from they or famiily members is.
    Its hard to find out , if they did a Dna test…

    I look really close to the draw baby picture and when she look 25.
    But it does mean anything without DNA test.

    Reply

  11. Sam Sam

    There was a confession posted to Reddit within the past year. I’ll refer to the poster as Annie. She said she had fertility issues, and saw that a homeless woman typically panhandling on the street near her apartment now had a newborn with her. Annie claimed the homeless woman had drunk and done drugs throughout the pregnancy. Annie said she approached the homeless woman, offered every bit of cash she had in her purse for the chance to hold the baby, and when the baby was in her arms, she bolted. She then told her husband that someone had given her this abandoned baby, and that they should move to Europe to be closer to family. She said there was a news article that came out about the baby being kidnapped at gunpoint, but that was not how it happened. A Redditor found this news article and thought the similarities were uncanny. Not sure if that post is still up.

    Reply

  12. boli

    its unexplainable

    Reply

  13. mm

    Hello,

    did everyone know the facebook of the family? Or have they did an DNA Test?
    How I can upload raw data (DNA) to names.org?

    Reply

  14. Csbaloch

    This is really sad I’ll pray for you and your daughter, I’m 5 months older than your daughter, I hope you see her again.

    Reply

  15. C

    I used to work at a retail store in zip code 92509. There is a mentally ill lady we all know as Vera who constantly harasses the local businesses. She’s always making random phone calls screaming conspiracy or asking questions that have nothing to do with the business. We’ve dubbed her Crazy Lady. We think she is schizophrenic. She bores a striking resemblance to the composite sketch. Including the fact that she always dyes her hair red.

    Reply

  16. Meghan

    Why doesn’t the family try 23 and me or ancestry DNA? They might be able to find her somewhere.

    Reply

  17. Anonymous

    Yeah, is there any news on whether Javier’s unnamed girlfriend or Jessica is Marlene or not? John L is right, it would be nice for this case to be solved after nearly 30 years.
    I hope Marlene isn’t dead. Because she needs to be found before she can celebrate her 30th birthday with her real family for the first time.

    Reply

  18. Anonymous

    Is there any DNA on file, you may find her in Ceres, Ca.

    Reply

  19. Javier

    UNSOLVED did you follow through on any of the above leads!??

    Reply

    • unsolved

      We pass all leads we receive on to the law enforcement agency handling the case

      Reply

      • Latosha Vowell

        I was adopted in 1986 the day I was born I never saw any adoption paperwork! My mom and dad were murdered both unsolved and I don’t think any of it will come up from there graves! My name is Latosha Vowell on facebook.com my adopted mom went threw a lawsuit with me and it said she was my friend over me not my parent! I’m so confused about my past and I wish I could get some one who is smarter than I to figure out why I can’t find any adoption info!!!! From 07/26/1986 supposedly from Wichita falls Texas the last name was Litsair on my birth card laying in my baby bed if that’s even my baby pictures!

        Reply

        • Latosha Vowell

          My adopted mom always wore her hair the same way the woman is in the picture above!

          Reply

          • KF

            Hi LaTosh. I was looking at picture of the family on Facebook. Then I looked at what I believe is your page. You resemble the family. Did you check in to this in 2017?

  20. Logan

    This INFURIATES me. I know why the abductor aimed the gun at the baby. It was the ONLY way that the mother would have cooperated because I can tell you, as a father, if you aim a gun at me and say you’re taking my son you will have to KILL me or I’m going to tear your arms off. You will NOT be taking my son unless I am dead. The kidnapper definitely knew what she was doing as far as how to get a mother to follow orders.

    Reply

  21. Christine

    Did the woman that kidnapped your daughter have an accent?

    Reply

  22. Donna

    What hospital would discharge a patient at 9 o’clock at night? ..

    Reply

  23. Kali

    R. Berenise i hope one day your family is reunited! This story made me so sad, i cannot imagine what you all must go through.
    Never lose hope. Have shared this in the uk too. X

    Reply

  24. Janie Doe.

    I believe that Miracles Truly do happen, Just Remember, Elizabeth Smart, Shawn Hornbeck, Jaycee Dugard, Carlina White, Hannah Anderson, The Three Girls from Cleveland Ohio, a Miracle happened to those Respected Families, I just Know that it’s going to happen to This Girls (or should i say a 34-year-old woman by now) Family, and This Girl would be found Alive, also Like Jaycee, Amanda Berry (she (Amanda Berry) was one of the three girls that was kidnapped in Cleveland Ohio), and Carlina, This Girl Might have a child of her own, also it is now 2016, It’s been 31 years, God only knows what this girl has been through the past 31 years, She might’ve been told that her mother didn’t want her, or had abandoned her, or God Forbid they might be dead, Or might’ve been threatened, like If you ever try to escape or go for help, they’ll know where she lives, knows who her family is, and God forbid they might have or hire someone to kill her family, or kill her.

    Reply

  25. R. Berenise

    I believe DNA was submitted in New York in 1993when a little girl that looked a lot like their older daughter was pushed to the street but it was not her. Marlene is still Missing I know the family. More then know them they are Family that was my aunt the baby was stolen from. They are still looking Marlene would turn 31 this year

    Reply

    • Sonya Sanchez

      Just saw the story on Unsolved Mysteries. I pray she is found soon and reunited with her family. This is so sad. Prayers to the family!

      Reply

  26. David

    Why don’t they just take a DNA test and see where their daughter lives? She might have a different name.

    Reply

  27. britt

    I heard about the Dominique Purnell case truly a miracle

    Reply

  28. Hanna

    there is another case of a missing baby named Dominique Purnell from 1990 shes now 25 years old and recently found alive and well. im telling you this because there is hope. this woman was raised with another family for 25 years and just found out her true identity. she was living in another state undetected for 25 years.

    Reply

  29. Gigi

    what happened with marlene they found her or not?

    Reply

  30. jed

    as i dont have a clear picture of her, and with the little psychic powers that i have, i can sense that baby marlene was the victim of a cult kidnapping…cult is now defunct…

    Reply

    • Julia H.

      Funny every psychic who I have spoken to on this case says similar, I do not understand why they say that, But I do not believe it.

      Reply

  31. jed

    i am abit of a psychic….but i need a clear look at baby marlene’s face….

    Reply

  32. Janie Doe

    I wonder if that Family has heard about the three girls that were found in Ohio?, and I wonder if it gives them the hope that their own daughter would be found alive, even though it’s been 30 years, God only knows what this Baby Girl (or should I say young woman by now) might’ve went through, she might not know who she really is, or might’ve been told that her parents don’t want her, or they left her alone, or God Forbid they might be dead, I believe that Miracles Truly do happen, just take a look at Elizabeth Smart, Shawn Hornbeck, Jaycee Dugard, Amanda Berry, Gina Dejesus, Michelle Knight, If they had been found alive Respectively of course, This Young Woman who would today be 33-years-old would be found alive, and Like Jaycee, Amanda, This Young Woman might also have a child of her own.

    Reply

  33. John L.

    Is there any news on rather Javier’s gf or Jessica is Marlene? Such a sad story, it’d be nice for this case to be solved.

    Reply

  34. Greg

    Hi Jessica. Why don’t you take a DNA test just to be sure if you are Marlene Santana or not?

    Reply

  35. jessica

    My birthday is in Oct of 84 my pics look just like her as a little girl but not a young woman I don’t know if my feet look that way from the bottom or not or if I was adopted I just found I strange that the one photo my mom had of me when I was young looks so similar

    Reply

    • RISSSS

      Unless you’re wrong about your birthday by a year, you aren’t the missing baby. Stop trying to create drama with your silliness

      Reply

  36. Javier vizcarra

    My girlfriend don’t look nothing like her family, her birthday is Oct. 24, 1985, Her mother has short hair like the lady in the pic who took the baby. Her mother lived in New York in the city New Rochelle with her sister at that time. My girlfriend foot has a c shape foot when you look at the bottom. So is there any DNA on file??

    Reply

  37. Undnybl1

    It states her DOB to be November 18th in statistics here, but reading the details in the story,it says they celebrate her bday October 18th. I take it that November is wrong? I know someone born November 1985 that was adopted. But she is naturally blonde and green eyed.

    Reply

    • unsolved

      Thank you for bringing that to our attention – the error has been corrected. Her birthday was in October.

      Reply

    • R.Berenise

      The blonde hair and green eyes might be possible Marlene brother is blonde with green eyes so is her grandmother and a few more relatives. Has she submitted DNA to see if it’s her. I know the family

      Reply

      • Julia H.

        I have to call you out on this one. There is a family facebook page of this family. Brother does not have blonde hair or green eyes. Please explain……

        Reply

  38. Rodrigo Campeador

    I really can’t believe that this has happened to this woman almost thirty years ago. I was born in 1985. That means that the baby who got kidnapped is now a woman, and is almost my age. Why did the kidnapper take the baby?? Was it because she was unable to have kids of her own??

    Reply

    • Dave

      How could anyone know the reason? Everything is speculation. Did you read the post? See the episode?

      Seriously how could anyone know the reason? If the reason was known, the cops would have leads.

      Reply

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