Unsolved Mysteries Wiki

Mary Jane, Leoma, and James in 1947

Real Name: James Gilwreath
Case: Lost Sibling
Location: Weed, California
Date: 1947


Details: On a summer day in 1947, a housewife in Weed, California, was walking through an overgrown field when she found a young girl, beaten and abandoned. She was taken to a hospital and placed in intensive care; due to the shock, she was unable to talk to anyone or tell them who she was; she was nicknamed "Baby X". She was kept in the hospital because the authorities did not know what to do with her. Her photograph was distributed to several newspapers across various states. Two weeks later, a witness came forward, identifying the girl as Mary Jane Medlin, the daughter of Lucille Medlin of Selma, Oregon.

Mary Jane and Leoma in 1992

Lucille was staying at a log cabin in Selma with her boyfriend, young son and other daughter. A police officer showed Lucille a photograph of a beaten and bruised Mary Jane, and she identified her as her daughter. The boyfriend confessed to abandoning the child but claimed that he did not beat her. The couple had decided to abandon the child because they would be unable to raise three children. Lucille and her boyfriend were arrested and charged with child abandonment and assault. Lucille was allowed one visit with Mary Jane in the hospital, where Mary Jane met her younger brother James for the first and only time.
A few weeks later, Lucille and her boyfriend pleaded guilty to the charges against them and were sentenced to twenty years in prison. Mary Jane, her three-year-old sister Leoma, and her four-week-old brother James became wards of the state and were separated. Mary Jane initially went to live with her biological father, but later spent time in several foster homes. She married at sixteen, and she and her husband own a successful restaurant in Placerville, California. They have four children and ten grandchildren.
In 1988, Mary Jane began searching for her siblings; in 1991, she found her sister Leoma Crane and they were reunited. Mary Jane and Leoma are now searching for their long-lost brother, James Gilwreath. James was born on June 14, 1947, in either Selma or Grants Pass, Oregon. He may have been adopted by an Oregon family and his name might now be Donald.
Extra Notes: This segment was featured as part of the September 30, 1992 episode.
Interestingly, before Mary Jane was identified, some investigators speculated that she was missing Oklahoma child Joan Gay Croft.

Mary Jane, Donald, and Leoma reunited

Results: Solved. James's adopted sister was watching the broadcast; she contacted her mother, who contacted James; his name is now Donald Barrow and he is living in Fresno, California. Two weeks after the broadcast, Donald and his family drove to Placerville, California, where they were reunited with Mary Jane and Leoma; the siblings had not seen each other in over forty-five years. Sadly, Leoma Crane passed away from colon cancer on November 25, 2008.