On November 25, 1965, Zella Jackson Price gave birth to a baby girl at Homer G. Phillips Hospital in St. Louis, her granddaughter says. What allegedly happened in the hours after that is both confusing and dreadful: Price, a gospel singer, says she was told by a nurse the baby died shortly after birth, and she went home heartbroken. But Melanie Diane Gilmore has been alive this whole time, adopted by another family, and the mother and daughter met at Price's Olivette, Mo., home last week for the first time, KTVI reports. Gilmore arrived in Price's driveway with her own daughter and son, and the two women embraced after their five-decade separation. "There's nothing greater than this," Price said. "Nothing." But what happened to Gilmore, who lost her hearing at the age of 3 from illness, is still a mystery.
A post on the YouTube page of Melika Jackson, Gilmore's daughter, makes reference to someone who "decided to perform an unlawful act which involved the kidnapping of a child." Jackson goes on to explain that, with a name given to Gilmore by her adoptive parents, Gilmore's kids searched for her biological mother and confirmed it was Price with DNA testing. Jackson also posted a video on Facebook on March 7 that shows how they broke the good news to Gilmore, as well as her first emotional face-to-face with Price via computer. The family says it will hire an attorney to look into what went down at the hospital, which USA Today notes closed in 1979. Since the story aired on TV, a second family has come forward with a similar story from the facility. (Babies switched at birth in 1994 were awarded $2 million in damages.)