Becky and Robert McGuinn kindly took in a special needs woman, to help teach her how to take care of her young son. March 7, 1988 Wanda Reed vanished out the back door with the McGuinn's 7 month old daughter Melissa. 8 minutes later Wanda returned alone. Melissa was never seen again.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A summary of the story of Melissa McGuinn

In early 1987 Robert Mcguinn moved with his pregnant wife Becky, and his co-worker Robert Ashley and co-worker's partner Wanda Reed, to 637 Lamberton St, Trenton, New Jersey. The two men had found work, and the company moved them into a complex together with their families.

 August 3, 1987 baby Melissa Diane McGuinn was born. 5 months later, Wanda gave birth to a son.

The McGuinn's could tell Wanda was behind developmentally, and thought she had some sort of learning disability. Becky was happy to help teach Wanda how to be a first time mother.

March 5, 1988 Baby Melissa was now 7 months old. She was crawling, and pulling herself up to try and walk on her own. Melissa was a very smart little girl, who was already speaking several words. "Up" "Down" "Hi" "Mum" "Da(dad)" "Ya(yes)"
Wanda's baby boy was now 2 months old, and seemed to be doing well with Becky's coaching on how to raise the boy.
Melissa's home
The night of March 5, the Melissa and Wanda and both of their families went to a party just down the street from their house. At the party there was another young boy, just a couple years older than Melissa. He liked playing with Melissa, and trying to teach her how to walk.
This little boy found Wanda's sleeping 2 month old baby understandably boring. Wanda was offended that this little boy did not find her son as fun as Melissa.

March 6, 1988 The McGuinn's friend Larry had laid a sleeping bag on their floor the night before. Becky discovered in the morning that the sleeping bag made it nearly impossible to open the front door.
Becky went about getting ready for the day, when Wanda asked to take Melissa and her own son down to the day room. It was a daily routine and Becky permitted it.

Becky was getting ready for the day when she heard a struggle down stairs. It was her neighbors and Wanda struggling to get the front door open because the sleeping bag was in the way.

Becky saw Wanda standing there with a neighbor....without Melissa.

Side street where Wanda was seen walking with Melissa
Several neighbors had seen Wanda with Melissa, but by the time this neighbor met with her, Wanda was alone. "Where's Melissa?!" The neighbor asked in panic. "She was with Wanda." Becky replied. Wanda swatted her hand and scoffed, "Huh uh, that baby gone."
What Wanda answered would turn Robert and Becky's happy world upside down.

"A black man pushed me down and grabbed her, then ran away."
Word would spread quickly, that the little blue eyed blonde 7 month old had been kidnapped. But the McGuinn's heart ache would only worsen when Wanda was taken in for questioning. Her story kept changing.
"I sold her for drug money to a black man in a red car." "I was mad that people liked Melissa more at the party,  so I threw her into the Delaware River." "She was in my lap sitting by a creek. She leaned over and fell in and drowned." "I traded her for drugs to the neighbor lady."
Each story was investigated, and none of them seemed to pan out. No one saw a red car, the walk to the river and creek took much longer than the time Wanda was gone, and the neighbor lady was questioned several times and police could find no blame on her. The only thing that seems possible, is either that Melissa was stashed away somewhere in the neighborhood, or Wanda had a planned meeting with someone who quickly got away with the baby.
Wanda Reed was arrested and charged with kidnapping. Every time she was asked what happened to Melissa, her story changed. Psychologists were brought in, and it was then Robert and Becky found out just how wrong they were about the woman who lived with them.

Composite of Melissa at age 16
It was determined Wanda was at the mental level of a 4 to 5 year old. She would say what ever she thought made the investigators happy. Also, Wanda's infant son was NOT her first child. Wanda had two children in the past. One was taken from her custody after the child was scalded with hot water. The other was taken after Wanda threw the child against a window, which broke the glass and cut the child.
Psychics would call with different visions of where Melissa was, and even those tips were investigated, but still, there was no sign of where on earth baby Melissa McGuinn was.

7 grueling weeks passed, with no clue where Melissa had gone. Becky sank into such a deep depression, that she became suicidal and had to be hospitalized. During her hospital stay, she found out that she had been pregnant since shortly before Melissa's kidnapping.
Becky would go the entire pregnancy with no sign of the whereabouts of her baby girl. Becky would give birth to a son, still not knowing where her daughter was. Becky's son would graduate high school, never knowing his older sister.

Because of the psychologists diagnosis of Wanda, she was deemed unfit to stand trial. Shortly after, all charges were dropped, and Wanda became a free woman. Her infant son was adopted by a family in Texas, and she and her husband broke up, and Wanda moved out of state...a free woman.

In 2008, Robert McGuinn would go to his grave, never seeing his daughter again. He never stopped missing her.

In 2012 a woman in the Netherlands contacted Melissa's mom saying she was their daughter. She shared detailed information about the case and even described the outfit Melissa was wearing and claimed she still had the outfit. Mom, Becky, had a DNA test done. Results came back negative.
"When we got the results, I told myself I had been dealing with this for 25years, I could deal with it if it wasn't her. But then when I heard negative...I couldn't deal with it. I fell apart."

After the experience with the Netherlands woman, the Cold Cases unit took over the investigation. They took new DNA samples from Melissa's family, and made a composite sketch of what Melissa may look like at 25, from Becky, and from Robert's daughter from another marriage.


  1. Iam so sorry your going through this

  2. Becky, my heart aches for you and your family. I pray that you will get to see your beautiful daughter, soon. No parent or child should have to live the hurt, y'all have, for any length of time. I pray that your heart will rest in God's love. From the Heart of a Moma, Kay

  3. I am so sorry for what you have been going through for the what must feel like an eternity. I cried when it said Wanda kept saying whatever she thought pleased the investigators. I hope you end up finding her, even to know that she lived a life free from harm. My thoughts and love is with you sweetheart <3 <3

  4. Iam so sorry for all the pain and suffering this woman caused you and your family. Life is so unfair sometime

    and i so wish there was something i could do to make all this pain stop. You and your family will be in my prayers on my mind and in my heart.Please don't give up miracles do happen. I am so sorry...hugs

  5. Just wanted to say I am thinking of you and hope one day you will get the peace you seek.

  6. So very sad. I find it odd though that someone was allowed to have sex with someone who is at the capacity of a 4 or 5 year old. That is seriously handicapped and it should be statutory rape. Wanda should have never been allowed to keep any children or be around children after the abuse of her other kids either...
    I understand that Melissa parents were trying to br kind but it seems the system let Wanda down as well as any children who might have been in her care.
    I hope and pray that she is found alive as others have been

  7. I hope and pray that you find your daughter. My mother's brother went missing from the Bathurst Mines area in Bathurst NB Canada when he was only 6 yrs old. It's like he vanished, no body or clothes were ever found. My grandmother went to her grave never knowing what happened to her son. I hope and pray that my mother who will soon be 82 will know what happened to her brother before she passes.

  8. I hope and pray you find your daughter becky it must be horrible I am the same ageas your daughter I also have a baby daughter and couldnt imagine losing her like its any mothers worst nightmare I really hope you get the answers your craving 💖

  9. What is Melissa's birth time, it should be on the birth certificate & what time did Wanda take her to the day room. Exact times are very important. I saw a request for help from a group of astrologers in my e-mail.

  10. My heart breaks for you. I hope you are reunited with your daughter and you're able to make up for at least some of the lost time. You are an amazing mother and she will see how hard you've worked all these years to find her and know how much you love her.