Who stole April Nicole Williams?

April Nicole Williams/collage AdSLast night, my friend JL alerted me to a post about April Nicole Williams who went missing in 1983. Of course, I shared the story.

So far April has not been found. We have a baby picture and an age-progressed image of what she might look like now as an adult. The better guess for a likeness is to look at her mom’s picture.

This morning, I decided to do a quick online search. Here’s what I found:

The story of how mother Eleanor Williams, now 52, lost April is best described in the Washington Post so I am not going to repeat that.

I want to focus on some details that I think need more emphasis:

1: Eleanor was just eighteen years old when she traveled with newborn daughter April. It was Dec 2, 1983. Eleanor’s home was a farm near Suffolk in southeastern Virginia. She had never been further from home than about 30 miles according to the WP article.

This very young mother was exhausted, naïve, unexperienced, and emotionally unequipped for life outside her farm and direct surroundings. She didn’t have the life skills that come with age to detect what could become a dangerous situation.

2: The woman who stole April took advantage of this young mother. This is someone who knew a mother’s exhausted look, who understood the situation, and who grabbed the opportunity. I don’t think Eleanor was stalked or that specifically April’s kidnapping was planned. This was an opportunity crime.

3: The woman who stole April knew exactly what she was doing. She was overly nice and caring. She was talking to Eleanor in a voice usually reserved by adults when talking to a baby, ‘cooing.’ She tried to lull Eleanor in a safe, comfy manner hoping she would let her guard down.

4: This woman who stole April knew that the teen mother didn’t have the energy to say ‘No’ when she offered to change April’s diaper. She knew that this teen mother didn’t have the life experience to see that this woman didn’t seem to have any luggage of her own, didn’t first let the mom feel whether the diaper was full (most other woman tell the mom the diaper is full and say ‘here, see?), and most importantly, she understood the teen mother would not follow her.

suspect sketch5: The suspect is described as African American, dark brown complexion with pigment spots on her face. She was estimated as in her 20s, about 5-foot-3 and slender built. Her ears were pierced with two holes in each ear. She had short hair, dark, and wavy. She wore green pants and a white ski jacket with a purple floral lining.

6: April was lovingly swaddled in a pink and white snowsuit with a hood and a blue sleeper with a red number 1 on the left front. Maybe this woman kept these items.

7: April was stolen when she was just 3½ months old. That means that this woman cannot show newborn pictures of her child unless they are fake.

8: Identifiers

Full name: April Nicole Williams

Date of birth: August 17, 1983

Birthmark: one inch long birthmark on top of her right wrist in a straight line

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I would like to add a personal note here as this story broke my heart.

If you are the woman who stole April Nicole Williams from her teen mother, I hope you understand the consequences of your actions. You almost drove a teenager to suicide. If you wanted a baby and could not have one, I understand your pain but April was NOT yours to steal. No matter your intentions, no matter if you raised her lovingly as your own (and I pray that you did), you stole April and broke Eleanor’s heart and soul. You committed a crime and you will have to answer for it.

Dear April, I hope that you were raised in a loving and caring setting with people who made you feel welcome. Should you ever research your heritage online, know this: you were NOT given up for adoption, you were NOT abandoned as a baby, and you were NOT sold for money. You were wanted, loved, cared for, and STOLEN.

Your mother never gave up and losing you almost killed her. She is still looking for you. Every year on your birthday she mourns. You have a brother, a sister, and they have families of their own. They all know you are their older sibling and long to meet you. Your family’s DNA is in the NamUs database. Contact them for comparison by email: questions@findthemissing.org or call 1-855-626-7600.

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If you have any information that can help reunite April Nicole Williams with her mom, please contact Sergeant Julius Hunter from the Washington DC Metropolitan Police Department at (202) 489-8281. April’s case number is 568245.

Hat tip JL