Missing Poster Reunited Family: A digital copy of a missing 2013 poster has helped a teenager to be reunited with her family after nine years.
On the morning of January 22, 2013, 7-year-old Pooja, along with her brother, went to school in the Adheri neighborhood of Mumbai. There, Henry Joseph D’Souza allegedly offered to treat her to an ice cream and kidnapped her. D’Souza, who has now been arrested, has told the police that he abducted Pooja as he and his wife did not have children then.
Henry soon sends Pooja to a hostel in Karnataka to ensure that she is not recognized by anyone. Her name was changed to Annie D’Souza. Later, when the couple had a child of their own, they brought him back. It turns out that they used to make her do all the household chores and did not treat her well.
The 16-year-old girl did not remember much about her family members, who lived barely a few hundred meters away. But when Henry tells her while intoxicated that she is not his daughter, he begins to look for clues into the past.
She and her friend searched the internet for “Pooja missing” and finally found a missing 2013 poster. It had five numbers, but four of them were no longer in service. Fortunately, the one who still worked was Rafiq, a neighbor of Pooja’s family.
After this the girl called him and told about himself. A shocked Rafiq then spoke to her over a video call and identified her. He also arranged a call between Pooja and her mother. Pooja’s mother recognized him immediately. Visuals showed the two in tears looking at each other on mobile phone screens.
The local police were informed soon after, and they were present when the 16-year-old was reunited with her family in tears of joy and longing for a hug. It was during this long separation that Pooja lost her father. Her mother and brother, with whom she had gone to school on that fateful day, lacked words to express their happiness.
Senior police officer Milind Kurdar has said that Henry has been arrested on charges of kidnapping and illegal labour. His wife has also been made an accused in this case.