Real Name: Mary Agnes Gross
Nicknames: No Known Nicknames
Location: Worthington, Minnesota
Date: June 16, 1962
Date of Birth: June 12, 1962
Marital Status: Married
Characteristics: Today, Mary Agnes Gross would be fifty-seven-years-old.
Details: Mary Agnes Gross is the daughter of fifty-five-year-old Marlys Thomas. When Marlys was twenty, she left her husband to raise her daughter on her own. In 1962, she moved to Minnesota to be close to her mother. On June 12, 1962, she went into labor, but after she gave birth, Marlys was told that her daughter died shortly after being born. Marlys had been sedated during the delivery, but she does have vague images of her daughter moving. While being wheeled out of her hospital room, Marlys passed a bassinet which held Mary Agnes. She asked to see her daughter, and when she was shown her, Marlys did not believe her baby was deceased. Mary Agnes was not purple and looked as if she were sleeping, not dead. She also had marks on her head from the forceps that the doctor used during delivery. Marlys noticed that her daughter had long, full dark brown hair. Furthermore, the hospital did not seem interested in an autopsy to explain how her daughter died nor allowed her photos of her daughter's body. Her mother was also not allowed to take pictures of the baby at the funeral home.
Soon after Mary Agnes's supposed death, a close friend of Marlys, Judy Voges, came to see the body of the baby and did not belive that it was young Mary Agnes. Judy did not see any marks on the baby's head, and the hair on the baby was light brown, and that there was not much of it; this was the opposite of what Marlys saw. Although Marlys was too sick for her baby's funeral, her mother did attend and noticed another family she did not know in attendance. There was only one fresh grave in the area. It was claimed that another family had lost an infant the same day her daughter died.
That infant was named Pamela Rae Dickey. A week after the funeral, Marlys was well enough to visit her daughter's grave. Even though there was apparently another baby that died, there was only one grave there. Three months after "losing" her daughter, Marlys received a photograph of an unidentified family, that included a husband, wife, and three children, one of which was a newborn baby girl. There was no letter or return address. When Marlys looked at the photograph, she felt that the baby looked just like her estranged husband, Mary Agnes's father. She did not recognize the people in the photo, nor did anyone in her family. She believed that someone was trying to tell her that her daughter was alive.
One year later, Marlys bought a headstone for her daughter's grave, but found that the stone had been placed a few feet off to the side. Though she moved away, Marlys periodically visited her daughter's grave. On one visit in 1989, she was shocked to find Pamela's gravestone placed atop her daughter's grave. Marlys questioned the funeral director and he said that her daughter was not buried there.
Marlys began doing more research into her daughter's supposed death. Marlys discovered that Pamela had passed away just a few hours before Mary Agnes, on the same day in the same hospital. Also, they were buried on the same day. Marlys was surprised to find her ex-husband's last name (Gross) written in the corner of one of Pamela's funeral papers. Even more puzzling, hospital records stated that Mary Agnes was healthy at birth, but the death certificate said that she had never drawn a breath. The birth certificate said that she was born at 6:23PM, but the death certificate said she died at 6:20PM, three minutes before she was born.
Marlys asked Pamela's mother Margaret for help, but she preferred not to disturb her daughter's grave. Nonetheless, Marlys had to make sure that Mary Agnes's body had not been moved without her knowledge. In November 1996, Marlys had the grave below her daughter's headstone exhumed. The remains were old, but DNA testing was able to be done. The tests confirmed that the child buried there was not Mary Agnes Gross. Also, the tests confirmed that the remains were not Pamela Dickey's either. Marlys showed the photographs her mother took of Mary Agnes's casket to Margaret Dickey. Margaret identified the casket as Pamela's and that her husband had bought it. She also said that another family was at her daughter's funeral that day; the family was Marlys's family.
Marlys now believes that Pamela is buried underneath her own tombstone and that another baby was buried where Mary Agnes was supposed to be. Marlys now believes that because she was a young, single mother that the hospital decided to give Mary to another family, which was in the picture sent to her. She hopes that she will one day find her daughter. Mary Agnes was born on June 16, 1962, at Worthington Regional Hospital in Worthington, Minnesota.
Suspects: Suggestions are that Mary Agnes Gross was abducted by illegal baby-selling organizations. Whether the Minnesota hospital had any part of it at the time is unrevealed. See the profiles on The Children of Ethel Nation and The Children of Georgia Tann for more stories of children abducted from their mothers.
Extra Notes: This case originally ran on the April 3, 1998 episode.
Unfortunately, Marlys lost the photograph of the other family. The photograph shown in the segment was a re-enacted photo.
Results: Unsolved. In November of 1996, Marlys had her daughter's body exhumed and DNA testing confirmed that the remains were not those of Mary Agnes Gross. or Pamela Ray Dickey either. Recently, there have been several stories where children have been reunited with biological parents, and the biological parents had been told that there child was deceased. This suggests that a similar occurrence could have definitely happened to Marlys and Mary Agnes. However, Mary Agnes Gross has still not been found. Sadly, Marlys Thomas passed away in 2012; she was seventy. However, her other children are still searching for the truth regarding Mary Agnes.
- Mary Agnes Gross on Unsolved Archive
- Mary Agnes Gross on Unsolved Mysteries Facebook
- Mom seeks baby that may — or may not — have died
- Dirt from baby's grave contains bone chips
- Mystery and a mother's pain linger
- Bone chips from Worthington grave were baby's, expert says
- One mom's blood test may help solve puzzle of Worthington baby
- Additional tests on unearthed skeletal remains of baby fail to reveal identity
- Reddit Discussion of Mary Agnes Gross
- Mary Agnes Gross at Find a Grave
- Marlys Thomas Obituary