After so much time away, the Stout family feared the worst. Then on Thursday, a miracle -- the child was found, safe and healthy in the Bronx.
For the last four years, Jarell Stout has kept photos of his baby sister next to his bed. His family's prayers were answered when Quranah, now five years old, came home.
"I couldn't believe that was my sister. When I last saw her she was on the bottle and in diapers. Now she's walking and talking like a regular kid," Jarell said.
"We are in shock. We're speechless almost. We're in shock," Tamara Stout said.
Quranah and her mother, 40 year old Sherry Stout, went missing on January 13, 2005. Quranah's reunion with her family solves just part of the mystery. Sherry is still missing. "We want my sister back. We want to know she's okay," Tamara said.
For the last four and a half years, Quranah has been living with a family in the Bronx who say they took her in as a favor to her father, Laquan Gilliam. The family says Gilliam said he'd be back in a few days, but he never returned. He was later arrested and sent to prison on drug charges.
The Bronx family says they tried to track down Quranah's family but they were told her name was Corrona Brooks. Her real name is Quranah Gilliam. Police finally put the pieces of the puzzle together with the help of DNA testing and Quranah was reunited with her mother's family.
"She missed out on a lot so we're trying to make up for a lot of lost time," Tamara said.
"I have a lot of cousins and two moms actually," Quranah said.
Quranah is understandably confused about the changes taking place. She is living with her cousins. Her very presence, a reminder to the Stout family that maybe, just maybe, Sherry will come home too. "Maybe my mother was out there. At least I got one back. Now we're working on the second one," Jarell said.
The Bronx family who cared for Quranah will not be charged. They consider themselves victims too and are said to be very distraught about losing the girl they raised as their own.
The search for Sherry Stout continues. If you have information, please call Elizabeth police at 908-578-8306.
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