Troy Sowers was a new FBI agent in 1997, with just a few months under his belt, when he had a huge get: He found a newborn who'd been abducted from a Washington state hospital, left in a box near a restaurant dumpster. It was a happy ending for little Stewart Rembert, and on Friday, there was a happy ending for Sowers: At his retirement party, Rembert showed up for an emotional reunion, 22 years later. "I'm just super excited and honored to meet this man today," Rembert, now a corporal with the Marine Corps, tells NBC News. He'd been alerted to the retirement farewell in Tennessee by Sowers' colleagues, who'd tracked him down for the occasion. For his part, Sowers—who said he'd expected nothing more than "doughnuts and coffee" at his goodbye get-together, per an FBI release—tells NBC Rembert's appearance was "probably one of the best surprises I've ever had."
Rembert, who was told when he was around 5 that he'd been abducted, said he never knew many details about his case, as he'd been reluctant to make his parents dredge up such painful memories, and so he'd never asked too many questions about it. The reunion with Sowers proved fruitful in that regard, as the retired FBI agent filled in some of the gaps for Rembert, including the fact that they'd cajoled Rembert's abductor to lead them to the baby. Sowers was pleased to find out what Rembert, whom he'd always wondered about over the years, had done with his life. "I'm proud of anybody that serves others above themselves," he said of Rembert's military service. "The fact that he is now doing that makes that case even more special." (Read more uplifting news stories.)