Jerry Barnett a then 5 year old boy kidnapped by his baby-sitter 55 years ago reunited with his Kentucky mother, Anna-Mary Barnett. An emotional re-union.
Anna-Mary Barnett and son, Jerry Barnett’s ’emotional reunion’ took place Friday in Radcliff, Ky., WLKY-TV reports.
‘Oh my goodness, you talk about excited. Oh Lord!’ the mother said, according to the media outlet.
A few years later, he wound up in foster care in Delaware, abandoned by the babysitter who had moved there. The boy at the time was and was given a new last name with an estimated birth date. Jerry had his last name changed to Thomas. The revisions would serve to preempt the boy’s family finding him for years to come.
But there was hope and a chance encounter too.
A black mother turned away when she sought to find her abducted son:
The reunion came about after Jerry’s son, Damon Parker, took a DNA test for a website and discovered he had a cousin — and a grandmother –in Kentucky.
‘I was scared to get out the car,’ Jerry Barnett said. ‘There was a mob (of people). I thought somebody was going to kidnap me again.’
Anna-Mary Barnett and members of her family said they asked agencies for help finding her son to no avail, WLKY reported.
‘I was so scared. I mean, it was during the (civil rights) movement,’ she told the station.
Barnett and family members said that they tried to ask agencies for help finding her son. The family said that they were turned away by at least one agency. They believe the mother’s age and race led some officials to disregard their claims.
The woman’s son, Jerry told WLKY News that the ‘traumatic ordeal’ of being taken from his family and thrust into the foster care system impacted his idea of family.
Jerry admitted that in previous years, he has struggled to be present for his children.
The long-awaited reunion is changing that, the now 60 year old man’s family said.