For many of us that hear the stories about missing children we are left with wondering if they will ever grow up and stumble across a photo of themselves and then realize they are a missing child. Over the years that I have been doing this I have only seen it happen a couple of times, more often with parental kidnapping than with stranger abduction. I can only think of two that were stranger abductions, see Carlina White and Miguel Morin and Wesley Morgan‘s case where the police believe he may have been sold by his mother.
The other day someone sent me an article from 2013 about Symbolie Monique Smith, that told the story of how in 1996, she began to wonder if she might be one of those children taken by a stranger after she tried to get documentation for a job and found a lot of inconsistencies, she told WBAL TV in 2013.
“Different states, different years, different dates of birth. To this day, I don’t know how old I am. To this day, I do not know my real name. To this day, I really feel that no one is looking for me anymore,” Monique told WBAL TV.
To further confirm Monique’s findings were what her family members told her that one day her mom showed up with Monique in tow.
Monique bravely confronted her mother when she began to find more and more things that just didn’t add up. She never got a straight answer, and instead “the woman” as Monique calls her, got mad that Monique was asking questions and told her she would go to her grave before she would ever let Monique know.
I reached out to Monique to ask her some questions so I can share it with my readers. I asked her how old she was when she was taken.
“I’ve always assumed that I was either 2 or 3 when I was taken,” she said. Monique believes she was taken from the area of 3rd and 174th street in the Bronx in New York, and she thinks her mother’s biological name was Margaret or Martha. Monique also thinks she may have other siblings and she was one of six or seven children. She also believes she had an older sister with a large scar on the side of her face which may have been a burn or a birthmark.
“There were no other children. This woman never had children of her own,” said Monique referring to the woman she knew as a child to be her mother. “I ran away from home because of the abuse and started using the name Monique in 1984 in hopes of her not finding me to kill me,” said Monique.
Monique over the years has accumulated lots of paperwork in her quest to find the truth. She has records from the Dept. of Social Services that shows different information on every document. She is listed in NamUs.gov and filed a police report with the Maryland State Missing Children and Unidentifiable Person’s Division and she has even completed a DNA test with Ancestry.com.
“I’ve actually done it all. I have in my possession, archived copies from the Board of Education, archived records from the Dept of Social Services; I have acquired a National Missing Children’s Number; I am listed in the NamUS Registry; I have filed a Police Report with the Maryland State Missing Children and Unidentifiable Person’s Division, and I have completed a DNA test with Ancestry.com.”
Monique works as a missing child advocate and a founder of Known as Monique Foundation, Inc. and helped lobby for the passing of the state’s Missing Children’s Act. She has also written a book called, “I am the Ancestor.”
She wants every one to know that, “Abducted Children are not DEAD…We Are Here…ALIVE and Never Stopping Our Search!!”
Do you think you know who Monique is?
Also, Monique wanted to let everyone know that in honor of Missing Person month that starts in May, she would be glad to be part of an organization that is holding an event. You can reach out to her by contacting MPofA or Monique’s website.