Unsolved Mysteries Wiki

Jean Anne Freeman

Real Name: Jean Anne Freeman
Case: Lost Foster Daughter
Location: Washington, DC
Date: September 1943


Details: Jean Anne Freeman was the foster daughter of Irvin Freeman and his wife Margaret. In the spring of 1941, Irwin was a naval diving instructor stationed in Washington, D.C. Irvin and Margaret had married in 1934, but since then had been unable to have children naturally. In hopes of adopting a child, they decided to register with the Washington Board of Public Welfare. They visited several churches and hospitals in attempt to find a child to adopt. During a visit to Gallinger Hospital, Irvin and Margaret felt attached to one infant; she had been abandoned in front of an apartment building two weeks earlier. The child had been rushed to the hospital due to respiratory problems, but was treated successfully.

Irvin Freeman.jpg

Despite several newspaper articles about the case, no one came forward to claim the child. Three months after meeting the young girl, the Freemans were able to bring her home; they named her "Jean Anne". They bought a new crib, diapers, bottles, and toys for her. Irvin immediately felt as if she was his daughter. The Freeman's social worker told them that after two years, they would be able to formally adopt Jean Anne. As the two years passed, Jean Anne became very close to her foster parents, and they became close to her.
By April 1943, the two-year waiting period was almost up. The Freemans began acquiring the paperwork for the adoption. Then, they were visited by their social worker. She told them that Jean Anne's natural parents had come forward. Her natural parents claimed that they were impoverished at the time and were unable to take care of Jean Anne because of her medical problems. They claimed that now they were in a financial state that they could take care of her.
The Freemans, however, did not want to give up Jean Anne and planned to fight for custody of Jean Anne. Two weeks later, the Freemans and Jean Anne's natural parents presented their cases in court. After the hearing, the Freemans were told that their chances of keeping Jean Anne were not good. The Freemans were very upset when they were told this. Irvin then decided that he would take Jean Anne's fingerprints in order to determine her identity if they met on a later date.
Three months after the hearing, Irvin was reported back to active duty; he feared that this would be the last time he would see Jean Anne. Sadly, Irvin's fears came true a few days later when Margaret was forced to give her away. Irvin and Margaret were able to move on with their lives; after he returned from the war in 1945, they adopted two more children. After Margaret passed away in 1979, Irvin re-married to a woman who also had two children. In Irvin's will, he has left money for his current family; however, he also wants to leave money for Jean Anne as well.
Irvin still wants to find Jean Anne but has few clues other than some photographs, her fingerprints, and some other information. He knows that Jean Anne's natural parents were from Bridgeport, Connecticut, and that they had other children. Jean Anne was abandoned in Northwest Washington, D.C., on March 3, 1941. She was returned to her natural parents in September 1943.
Extra Notes: The case was featured as a part of the April 25, 1990 episode.
Results: Unsolved. Sadly, Irvin Freeman passed away in May 2001. It is unknown if he ever located Jean Anne; she would now be seventy-five-years-old.