She was once a well respected Air Force veteran. But sadly mom Toni Stanci became hooked on drugs.
Her descent into the dark world of addiction saw her turn to prostitution to get her fix.
After telling a family friend she needed a few days to ‘clear her head,’ she handed over her nine-month old daughter Aleacia. When Toni returned two days later, no one could tell her where her child was.
The tiny tot went missing in Phoenix in December 1994, according to AZFamily.com.
Toni would never see daughter again.
She Was Passed From Friend To Friend
Soon after her daughter went missing Toni was sent to jail. She didn’t report her daughter missing until March 1995 – months after her disappearance.
Police searched for Aleacia Stanci for nearly a quarter-century. But she was now in the care of Child Protective Services – with both authorities failing to swap information.
The National Center For Missing Children developed an age-progression photo and appealed for help.
Remarkably, 24 years later Aleacia was found alive.
Her Mom Was Murdered
Tragically in the same year Toni reported her daughter missing, she was found murdered.
Investigators were left stumped without a single witness in the case. Then in 2008 cold-case detectives reviewed the information again.
With help from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, they took DNA from family members to develop a profile for the missing girl.
Software was also used to create age-progression photos showing what little Aleacia may look like now.
It Took Three Years To Make A Match
Then in 2014, a woman checked into a hospital in Connecticut without any ID. A concerned nurse found the age-progression photo in the national missing person database and contacted police.
Investigators took the woman’s DNA for testing. After three years of painstaking work, the woman was matched to missing baby Aleacia Stanci. The 24-year-old was adopted as a child and now goes by a different name.
She is hesitant to come forward to speak to the media and met with her biological grandmother, Frances Ford, in private.
Ford who told AZFamily.com: ‘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,’ said Ford.