Real Name: Thomas Marshall Heck
Location: Council Bluffs, Iowa
Details: The Heck family (Delbert Jr., Florence, Jim, Sharon, and Doris) is searching for their long-lost brother, Tommy. They were made up of six siblings who lived with their parents, Delbert and Maude, in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Ten-year-old Delbert Jr. was the "man" of the household because Delbert was always away from home. He and Maude often went to drastic measure to provide for their family. In August 1944, a social worker visited them; there was little food and the house was not clean. She felt that the children were living in inadequate conditions.
Three months later, the state of Iowa took the children away. Three were adopted, while the other three stayed in orphanages. Seven-year-old Florence was placed in one orphanage, while Jim and Delbert Jr. were placed in another. Florence would often spend the night crying in her bed. One of the caretakers would place her in a closet in order to keep her quiet. Delbert Jr. was placed in a foster home where he spent most of the time working on their farm.
Finally, in 1952, Florence, Jim, and Delbert Jr. were returned to Maude. Sadly, she passed away without ever seeing Sharon, Doris, and Tommy again. The Hecks later learned that one-year-old Sharon had been adopted by the Jones family and renamed Doresa. Five-year-old Doris was adopted by the West family and renamed Sally. They did not learn, however, where three-year-old Tommy had gone to.
In 1970, Sally and Doresa were reunited and they began searching for their birth family. In 1989, they were finally able to locate Florence, Jim, and Delbert Jr. and they were all reunited. They now hope to find their last missing sibling, Tommy.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the September 26, 1990 episode.
Results: Solved. Tommy's adoptive cousin was watching a reairing of the broadcast and called the telecenter. A few weeks later on April 11, 1993, Tommy (now Thomas Wood) was reunited with his siblings in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Sadly, most of the siblings have since passed away. Tommy passed away in 2019 at age 77. Delbert Jr. passed away in 2003 at age 69. Sally, Florence, and Jim have also since passed away.
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