Missing girl found alive 24 years later
ALEACIA Stancil was only nine months old when she disappeared without a trace.
Now, nearly 24 years later, she has been found alive and well.
The ordeal began in December 1994 when Stancil's mother Toni put her in the care of a female friend after struggling with drugs and prostitution, according to azfamily.com.
At the time, her mother claimed she needed to "clear her head."
When she returned two days later the baby was gone.
Toni eventually ended up in jail and didn't report Aleacia missing until March 1995. That same year Toni was found murdered.
Her case remains an unsolved homicide.
But her baby girl ended up living with different people until she ended up in police custody and later under the care of Child Protective Services.
At the time, her identity was never known.
"Without that one and only witness, I'm very limited in how to proceed with the investigation," said Detective William Andersen with the Phoenix Police Missing Persons Unit in a 2013 interview.
It wasn't until 2014 that a breakthrough occurred.
A disoriented woman showed up to a Connecticut hospital with no ID and saying she knew little about herself.
A nurse who had her suspicions looked online for missing people and found an age progression photo of Aleacia.
She called police who took Aleacia's DNA for testing, azfamily.com reports.
Three years later the tests came back a match.
Aleacia had been adopted and had a new name.
She was later reunited with her biological grandmother, Frances Ford.
Ford told 3TV/CBS 5 that the woman has asked for her privacy to be respected.
Ford suggested that her life growing up was complicated, but she said they were able to meet in person.
Ford said she hoped to one day have a close relationship with her granddaughter.
"I would want the world to know that these are the things that can happen to kids, and not every story is not a happily-ever-after, and it doesn't mean that they came from someone who didn't want them or didn't care," Ford said.
Phoenix police officers were thrilled with the outcome.
"Even after 20-plus years, happy outcomes can come," Phoenix police Sgt. Armando Carbajal told US news station KTAR.