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A woman who believes she was kidnapped as an infant wants to find her real family.

Monica Libao was a teen when she heard the story

The family moved twice a year, for 15 years

CASE DETAILS

Monica had to stay home on class picture day

In May of 1970, somewhere in Texas, a little girl named Monica Libao clutched her only friend and waited patiently. Her family was on the move again. Monica would move a total of 28 times in 15 years, nearly one move every six months:

“I would come home from school, you know, and there would be boxes everywhere, and I knew it was time to go again.”

Monica’s parents, Pablo and Burma Libao, were relatively old to have children her age. Monica’s two half-sisters were already grown and had moved away. Monica had learned not to question her family’s nomadic lifestyle or why she was always kept home from school on class picture days. Then, at age 16, Monica came across a long buried family secret:

“My mother got ill and I had to transfer her medical papers to where she was in the hospital. I began reading through my mom’s folder. That’s when I found out that my mother had a total hysterectomy in 1945. There’s no way I could have belonged to her.”

She searched for clues to her real identity

If Burma Libao wasn’t Monica’s mother, then who was? Monica confronted her alleged mother Burma, and asked her for the truth:

“She got mad. But she told me that my mother was a family member, my sister. I was shocked. That was probably the worst shock of my life.”

It was true that Monica’s half-sister was much older –19 years, in fact– but was she truly Monica’s mother? Monica had to find out and confronted her sister:

“I asked her straight out if she was my mother and she said, ‘No, I’m not your mother.’ She said ‘Mom just doesn’t want to face the truth.’ And my sister told me that my real mother sold me for a bus ticket to New York and that she was trash and no good, and that I didn’t need to know her anyway.”

Now faced with two conflicting and bizarre stories, Monica didn’t know who to trust or what to believe. After searching her home, Monica finally found her birth certificate, which indicated she was born in Chicago during the early 1960s. But strangely, it listed no hospital, no address, and no doctor. Also, the document had been filed when Monica was seven years-old, not at her birth.

Clue: Unusual shape on left earlobe

Years later, in 1990, at the age of 26, Monica contacted an Illinois judge, hoping to locate her adoption records. But the judge’s response only deepened the mystery:

“The judge told me that she could not find anything from the years 1962, ’63, ’64, and that she had searched all the records that they have there.”

For the next decade, Monica was haunted by the strange and conflicting stories about her past. Still, she managed to get on with her life, marry, and have a daughter of her own.
One day, during a rare family get-together, Monica decided to try one last time to find out the truth and confronted Burma once again:

“My mom, at that point, was just angry, very angry. She started getting mad.  And my sister, she just kind of looked at her.”

According to Monica, her half-sister suddenly became irate. She began ranting about how, nearly four decades earlier, her mother had hidden a tiny baby from the police. Monica was stunned. In an instant, her past came flooding back. She remembered as a teenager overhearing her father talk about stashing a cardboard box in a bar, something about roadblocks, and the need to tell the truth. To Monica, a disturbing scenario had begun to emerge:

“The indication that I got from the whole thing is that my mother had probably kidnapped me. I really started thinking, ‘My God, how could they just up and take me from somebody?’”

Whichever way she turned, Monica was faced with a troubling past. Had she been abducted as an infant, a horrible crime that forced Pablo and Burma Libao to constantly run from the law? Perhaps a desperate young woman had sold Monica for the price of a bus ticket? Or, maybe the woman Monica knew as her half-sister was actually her own birth mother. Whatever the answer may be, Monica is desperate to find out the truth:

“I would be willing to go through anything, a DNA test, anything at all to be able to find out the truth behind all this. I am without an identity. I am searching and I’m probably going keep searching. I’m not going to give up.”

Monica was born with a uniquely shaped ear lobe on her left ear, a clue that may help confirm her true identity. If she was in fact kidnapped, she believes it happened in the Miami, Florida area in 1963 or 1964.


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

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42 Comments

  1. Sarah

    Could it be that she was adopted on the black market? I think it’s super unlikely for a baby in the US to not get reported missing. But apparently DNA testing did conclude that she isn’t biologically related to the people that raised her.

    Reply

  2. Michelle

    When I saw this story I was deeply touched and sad for Monica I would love to know when she recovers her true family

    Reply

  3. Anonymous

    Hello Misty,and Thank you for getting in touch with me,This is definitely worth looking into,however more information will be needed,on a more private bases,can you please send me an email to monka44@live.com or if you have facebook my Name is Monica Susie Libao Wolfe ,you can send me a pm there also and again ty <3 God Bless <3

    Reply

  4. Anonymous

    Monica, this is a terribly heart breaking story. In your position I would see the police or a lawyer and have them interrogate the people who raised you. It is incredibly cold and naïve of them to think that it is ok to raise a child that is not their’s and have no official adoption papers or any other documents to explain the situation.
    Good luck.

    Reply

  5. Anonymous

    My friend of 17 years, William Pelski, was mayor of Pompano Beach FL during the early 60s. He told me 2 little girls went missing. Among other measures to find them, he had all the sand on the beach removed, checked, replaced. The girls were never found. Could you be one of them?

    Reply

  6. Anonymous

    Wow, we are shocked such kidnap against baby outside Christ, all saints at local churches are support you talking to your real mom in Christ.

    Reply

    • Tom

      What does this have to do with Christ? If Jesus were real like Santa then why did she get kidnapped in the first place!? She doesn’t need to be evangelized to right now…

      Reply

  7. Anonymous

    I like she may be the Gill baby that went missing in 1965. So many similarities. The baby pictures are almost identical. The Gill family hired a private investigator out of Florida although the baby went missing out of Missouri I think. The Gill family is still looking for Elizabeth Gill.

    Reply

  8. CeCe Moore

    For those of you who suspect that you might be related to Monica, please submit your DNA to one of the three commercial genealogy DNA databases: AncestryDNA, 23andMe or Family Tree DNA Family Finder. Monica is in all three databases and your DNA will be compared to hers there. Thank you.

    Reply

  9. Misty Fields

    My mother’s aunt Violet had an infant that was kidnapped in the early 1960’s. I believe that she was living in Miami at the time. The only information that I have are stories that my mother told me many years ago. The story that I have is that Violet may have been unwed and left home out of shame and she had made friends with a couple that had been helping her. Only days after having the baby girl Violet had complications and had to stay in the hospital and trusted this couple to care for the baby unit she was released but when she got out the couple was gone with the baby and was never found. This is all I know and my mother and my aunt Violet are both deceased but I know she never forgot about that baby! I don’t think she ever had any other children but she still has family in Kentucky. I know that it’s a long shot but worth looking into. Surely there should be police records or something. If nothing else if you happened to be that baby I would be a blood relative. I would definitely willing to take a DNA test. Good luck in your search.

    Reply

    • Mike Neverett

      Misty,
      Interesting for sure. I’ve worked on Monica’s case for years. Would like to talk with you more about your Aunt Violet to compare ome notes.

      Reply

  10. James Connaire

    I seen your story on unsolved tv and I found it to be very interesting and sad

    I will pray for you,i wish you all the best

    I wish I could help.

    My mother always says the power of prayer.

    James Connaire
    Cincinnati,Ohio

    Reply

  11. Austin Brock Miner

    This is so so sad I just saw the story today

    Reply

  12. isobel baxter

    Hi Monica I have watched your story on unsolved mysteries here in wales UK. I hopethat you get aall the answers that you need soon. I have asked archangel chamuel to help you find your family. He is archangel who helps to find lost families .u wish you all the best.x

    Reply

  13. India

    I just saw your case today on Unsolved Mysteries, and it just made my heart so sad. I don’t know why I am so drawn to this case… I guess because I can’t imagine finding out in my adult years that I was kidnapped, and my “family” won’t tell me who my biological family is, or at least where I was born, so I could get a lead on information. I pray that the cousins you did find can help you with something. God bless you.

    Reply

  14. Monica Susie Libao Wolfe

    I Just Want to thank you all for showing Interest in my case,A lot has happened over the years and i have had many helpers,dna was done with the family that raised me and all was negative,with that result i am almost sure i was kidnapped,i always have known inside my heart, Also my dna was submitted into the national codis for the missing,as well as many ancestry sites,though i have found very distant cousins,no one seems to know or remember me,i believe with all my heart that my case will be solved ,we are very close now ,again thank you all for prayers and support ,God Bless <3

    Reply

  15. Jimbo

    I think Monica should sign up to Long Lost Family. Now, it’s been renewed for season two.

    Reply

  16. Anthony durrant

    l have no missing persons that l know of in my family, but l feel drawn to this case in a way l could never explain if l tried. Ms. Libao, I would suggest you take your case to the Doe Network, a group who locates missing persons and whom l have presented a case file myself to on another matter.

    Reply

  17. Anthony durrant

    There is no missing person that l know of in my family, yet l have always felt drawn to this case for reasons l could never explain if l tried. l wish Ms. Libao all the best of luck for the forseeable future.

    Reply

  18. William

    I have to say that this is one of the top Unsolved Mysteries cases I’ve followed over the years, and with all the new advancements in DNA research that can trace what part of the country a person is from, etc. I find it incredulous that this case has yet to be resolved. It makes me wonder if there was unmitigated circumstances around Monica’s birth that she can’t trace down her true family.

    Reply

  19. Anonymous

    Try doing an ancestry.com dna profile?

    Reply

  20. Eric W Bohannon

    I Get She was kidnapped by extended family, I see fake docs. the family is or was a friends of a friends. I See inter action you even attended church together, with your family, but they did not know, I think you and a real sister, is making the 4 of us is making contact, your family, real mom, was tending a booth at a swap meat, right next to the kidnappers, and did not trust them concerning you, in her gut, she knew. you were told you were 2 or 3 or 4 or 5th cousins. or friends of friends they are in tx, your real did is a repairman of some kind, your mom and a sister are insurance adjuster people. They are outside of Houston, TX hope this helps

    Reply

  21. Anonymous

    There is a lot of information that might help Monica on http://www.familysearch.org.

    Reply

  22. Researcher

    There is a missing girls case on Google she went missing from Florida in 1965 get name was Elizabeth gill I hope maybe this can help if someone out there knows …

    Reply

  23. Rachel

    Just saw your story today. I pray you find your parents soon.

    Reply

  24. james lemon

    In the show it was stated that monica last name was wolfe, is this correct? I and many of my siblings were born at the cook county hospitol in the 60’s. My mother adopted many of her kids to families who could not have kids or wanted a particular gender. My mother mentioned Wolfe , to me days before she past away. Monica could very well be my sister.

    Reply

  25. sara garcia

    there was a child miaain on march 18 from tyrone pa might want to look into it the childs name is kathleen shea she was born on 02/02/1959 she was 6 years old at the time she has blue eyes couldnt tell what color your eyes were on umsolved

    Reply

  26. Debbie skinner

    I would like to know if Monica has found her birth mother yet? Monica I hope you have been able to find your mother or father. I think it must be very difficult for you to not know who they are. Good luck.

    Reply

  27. margie

    Elizabeth Gill was kidnapped on a Sunday afternoon in 1965. The age progression looks a lot like MS. Libao http://www.officialcoldcaseinvestigations.com/showthread.php?15337-Search-for-Cape-girl-who-vanished-in-1965-continues-with-help-of-Florida-private-inve

    Reply

  28. sinni

    why don’t you take a dna test

    Reply

    • concerned

      She did take a DNA test & was found to be unrelated to those who raised her. It’s also been submitted to a national database

      Reply

  29. Anonymous

    http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/3419dfbc.html Case File: Edna Bette-Jean Masters – 3419DFBC You look just like the age progression picture

    Reply

  30. Steven

    Why hasn’t Monica taken a DNA test? And why isn’t she out there looking for her birth parents? Why not go to Chicago if they are still around? Surely her birth parents would have remembered her left ear if they were watching that story.

    Reply

  31. angela0040

    Monica if you’re still checking these posting’s here’s a case you may want to look at-

    http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/3419dfbc.html

    The ages and time frame are a somewhat off, and the girl went missing from Canada and not the US, but what caught my eye was a note about an ear lobe deformity. Since it’s such a distinct feature I thought I’d post the link so you can at least take a look at it.

    Thanks and good luck,

    Amy

    Reply

  32. Cindy S.

    This story caught my ear. The words “Chicago”, “Kidnapping”, “Early 1960’s”, “Mother was Trash”. I don’t know that my story can help Monica find the truth but there’s a very strong connection to much of her story. In (or around) Aug.- Oct. 1962, my Aunt “kidnapped” my older sister while we lived in “Chicago”. She bought a “Bus or Train Ticket” & returned to Hamilton, Oh. She was supposedly paid by my Grandmother to do this. My Aunt was “Trash” & had approximately 5 children, giving all of them up except for the last 2. I only know 3 of her children (girls) & am aware of 2 more (boys), adopted by family members. She was very capable of many many dirty deeds. The fact that she’d been stricken with Polio at age 5, & walked with arm brace crutches, did not stop her from “Kidnapping”, being shot in a bar, having many children & giving them away, doing drugs & serving at least 2 prison terms. She was born in (or around) 1937 – 1939 & would’ve been in her early to mid 20’s at the time of my sister’s “Kidnapping”. It would not surprise me, if I learned she’d sold her own child or Kidnapped & sold someone else’s for the Bus / Train ticket. She had no child with her (nor gave birth to any during this time frame) when we all moved to Chicago in (or around) March / April 1962, I was only a few months old at the time, my sister was 7. She was definitely paid or acquired funds to catch a Bus/Train back to Hamilton, as we were very poor & my Mother told of how (in search of my sister & Aunt), they had only enough money to either walk to Bus/Train Station & catch a ride back or catch a ride to the station & walk back. They did the latter & told of having to walk over & around much filth & many “Chicano’s” laying in ditches even, many Puerto Rican & Spanish people in the area. There’s so much more to this story & may not be related but if any of it can help Monica in her search, I can fill in some details later. Please don’t hesitate to contact me, best wishes to Monica & her search for the truth. Cindy

    Reply

  33. Martin Williams

    National Geographic operates a genealogy service which involves sending a DNA sample ( cheek swab ) and costs about $50 I think. The results show a number of people with high probability of being closely related. If mom and half-sister also contributed to this analysis it seems probable that further evidence would be developed. Of course it is not likely that Monica’s mom is in the database but someone related to her may be. There is reasonable probability that someone from the region of Monica’s birthplace and distantly related is in the database. A cluster of DNA relatives might be indicative of birthplace and might be able to provide information if asked.

    Reply