An adopted Montrealer still hopes to find her sister, who disappeared nearly 70 years ago in Quebec, thanks to artificial intelligence and new genetic banks.
“I remember one evening when I put my head in my mother’s lap. I cried, cried, cried. I asked her several times: where is she?” painfully recalls Vera Doederlein Hastie, now 79 years old.
It was in 1954 that his family left Germany by boat to settle in the city of Côte-Saint-Luc in Montreal. A few weeks after their arrival, his sister Rosemarie went to buy bread in their neighborhood for her parents.
During this day in September, the 14-year-old never returned from the bakery.
Kidnapped by a taxi?
“Every night we walked around the neighborhood to find her, but I didn’t know she was missing. My parents didn’t tell me about it to protect me. I found out several years later. My father even went to the incinerator in town in the hope of finding a piece of clothing from her,” the Log Vera Doederlein Hastie.
This former Montrealer, who left Quebec in 1963 to live in Coronado in the United States, remembers very well a significant conversation between her parents.
“They were saying that the police and detectives believed that Rosemarie had been kidnapped by a network of taxi drivers who assaulted people in the Côte-des-Neiges borough in the 1950s,” explains Ms.me Doederlein Hastie, who was 11 at the time of the tragedy.
However, she specifies that several hypotheses are on the table to explain the disappearance of her eldest. She could have been converted to the nuns, adopted on the black market or even bought by a farmer to work on his land.
Along with her daughter Christa, Vera Doederlein Hastie recently asked the public for help on social media to solve the enigma that has surrounded her sister for 68 years.
“People have been so generous with us. We receive thousands of messages, especially from experts. They want to help us, even if it doesn’t concern them. I find it so touching, “says the sixty-something with emotion.
An artist in Poland drew a color portrait of the girl when she disappeared in 1954. Another used artificial intelligence to create a portrait of what Rosemarie would look like at the age of 81.
Mme Doederlein Hastie also sent his DNA to gene banks Ancestry.com and 23andme to find her big sister.
“I have been keeping her purse, her prayer book and her jewelry since 1954 for when she comes knocking at my house. […] I am almost 80 years old. It’s kind of my last chance to find out what happened. I would just like to know where Rosemarie is,” she concludes.
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She has been searching for her sister relentlessly for 70 years
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