A 20-year-old case finally had a resolution when Nurse, a South African teenager, met a new friend that their daughter had befriended at school.
Three days after giving birth, in 1997, Celeste Nurse was unable to locate her daughter at the maternity hospital. The infant was kidnapped while the mother, who was 18 at the time, dozed off with the child on her chest.
Without thinking, the family made the decision to inform the police and ask for a DNA test, which established Zephany’s identification. She appears to have lived not far from her birth parents.
In April 1997, a woman carrying a three-day-old baby snatched from the maternity unit while the baby’s mother slept left a Cape Town hospital dressed as a nurse. The true identity of the kidnapped youngster wasn’t discovered until accidentally, 17 years later.
On the first day of classes at Zwaanswyk High School in Cape Town, Miché Solomon’s last year began.
And on that day in January of 2015, Miché, who was then 17 years old, was surrounded by other students who were excited to tell her about the new girl, Cassidy Nurse, who was three years her junior but strangely resembled her.
Miché initially didn’t give it much thought.
Miché, however, asserts that when the two girls later reconnected in the hallway, she felt an immediate connection that she couldn’t put into words.
She remembers thinking, “I almost felt like I knew her.” “I had no idea why I was feeling this way, and it was terrifying.”
Despite their age disparity, Miché and Cassidy started spending a lot of time together.
“Hey, little girl!” I’d say. She would say, “Hey, big sis.” Miché remembers. I would accompany her into the bathroom and offer to brush her hair and apply lip gloss to her.
“We’re not sure; perhaps in another life!” When people questioned if Miché and Cassidy were sisters, they would jest.
The two girls afterward took a selfie with each other and shared it with their friends. Miché was questioned about her certainty that she wasn’t an adoptive child. “No! Don’t lose your mind.She was unwavering.
Cassidy and Miché then returned home and shared the picture with their separate families. Lavona, Miché’s mother, who called her daughter “Princess” and took her to the mall and the movies, observed how similar the two kids appeared.
Michael, Miché’s father, claimed that because Cassidy’s father ran an electrical store where he occasionally shopped, he was familiar with Cassidy’s new acquaintance.
Meanwhile, Cassidy’s parents, Celeste and Morne Nurse, were entranced by the image. When the two girls next met, Cassidy asked Miché, who had been told she wanted to ask her a question, “Were you born on April 30, 1997?”
“Why?” I inquired. “Are you really following me on Facebook?” Explained by Miché.
Cassidy assured Miché that she wasn’t pursuing her and merely needed the date of Miché’s birth. Miché replied positively and mentioned her date of birth as April 30, 1997.
Weeks later, Miché was taken from her math lesson to the headmaster’s office, where two social workers were waiting for her. They informed Miché about Zephany Nurse, a newborn infant who had been taken from Cape Town’s Groote Schuur Hospital three days earlier and had gone missing ever since.
Miché sat there watching the plot unfold while questioning why she was being taught this. After that, the social workers claimed that there was proof that Miché might be the kidnapped child from all those years prior.
Miché confirmed that she was actually born at the Retreat Hospital, some 20 minutes drive away, rather than the Groote Schuur Hospital. This was what she said was written on her birth certificate. The social workers asserted that there was no record of her birth there.
A miraculous turn of events had finally brought the Nurse family’s prayers to fruition. With the aid of social workers, Miché and her biological parents were reunited in a police station.
According to Miché, “They hugged me, squeezed me, and started crying.” She wasn’t at ease, though. I sensed that something wasn’t quite right.
She continues, “I was like, ‘Just go with it because it’s a shame for these people. Even though it is sad, I had no emotions and didn’t feel as if I missed them.
Miché was experiencing severe mental distress. Unknown to her, one family was thrilled and anxious to make up for lost time. One of the individuals she cared about was imprisoned and the others were crushed.
In August 2015, Lavona Solomon’s high court trial got underway. Miché and Lavona’s parents from her biological family listened to her testimony.
All throughout the trial, Lavona Solomon maintained her innocence. She disclosed to the court her repeated failures at getting pregnant as well as her fervent wish to adopt a child. Lavona then disclosed that a woman by the name of Sylvia had promised her a child while she was receiving reproductive care. The infant belonged to a young girl who had expressed interest in having it adopted rather than kept, Sylvia had told Lavona. But Sylvia’s existence was unsupported by any evidence.
Additionally, Lavona Solomon was recognized in an identity parade nearly two decades after the incident by a witness who saw the woman disguising herself as a nurse and removing baby Zephany from Celeste while she was asleep. The judge believed there was substantial evidence against her.
Lavona Solomon received a ten-year prison term in 2016 for kidnapping, fraud, and violating the Children’s Act. She received criticism from the judge during the trial for showing no remorse.
According to Miché, “I felt like death was coming to me.” “I pondered how I would manage. Without my mother, who was always there for me, how would I survive?
Later that year, Miché visited Lavona in jail, and she was given the opportunity to talk with her for the first time since the social workers had visited her school.
In accordance with Miché, “The first visit was behind a window; it was not a contact visit.” “And I was devastated to see my mother clothed in female prison attire. I sobbed hysterically.
Miché was determined to discover what actually transpired when Lavona took her away from her mother’s hospital bed.
“I told her, “Knowing I’m not your blood, that I actually belong to someone else, and that you’ve taken away their prospects and changed my entire fate, upsets me. You’ve already lied to me by saying I’m your child, so how am I supposed to believe your word? You abandoned your trust in me. You’ll need to be honest if you want to connect with me.
“She said, “One day, I’ll tell you.
She insists that she didn’t do anything, but in my opinion, she did.
Miché, on the other hand, asserts that she is not resentful.
According to Miché, “Forgiving puts so much healing into your heart.” “Life has to go on. She is aware of my forgiving her and my continued love for her.
Since more than four years ago, Miché has been aware of the truth about who she really is. When she turned 18 in late April 2015, she debated moving in with one of her biological parents but ultimately decided against it.
They were divorced, and their family structure had been messed up, according to Miché. Since Michael was my safe haven and my home, I decided to take the easiest and most reliable course of action and moved back in with him.
Miché acknowledges that she has found it difficult to establish relationships with her real family and that she has harbored grudges against them for taking away her “mother.”
Even though Worcester, where she still sees her in prison, is about 120 kilometers away from her house, the trip is exhausting, especially since she now has two young children.
Miché frequently wishes that Lavona Solomon’s six-year sentence would “hurry up” so she might be released. She continues to live there while waiting for her mother’s arrival.
Perhaps surprisingly, Miché Solomon has chosen to keep the name she was given at birth rather than the one she was raised with. She has been able to accept both of her identities despite the psychological pain of discovering that the woman who raised her had actually abducted her.
According to Miché, “I guess I hated Zephany at first.”
“She arrived in such a forceful manner, with such an unwelcome invitation, and with such agony and pain. Zephany, on the other hand, is the reality, as opposed to Miché, the 17-year-old I pretended to be. So far, I’ve been able to successfully balance the two names. I’d love if you gave me the names Zephany or Miché.