Josefina Rivera to be reunited with her kids, finally.
In 1986 Josefina Rivera was kidnapped by Gary Heidnik in Philadelphia. He held her captive, raped and tortured her in his cellar for over 5 months. There were 5 other women in that basement with her.
Before being kidnapped Josefina was raising 3 children Latoya was 5 years old, Zornae was just 11 months old and the baby, Ricardo who was 6 weeks old. Once she was got away from Heidnik Josefina lost custody of her children.
The courts looked at her life before the kidnapping and at the stress from the kidnapping and they (probably wisely) removed her children from her care.
Latoya Rivera was raised by her father; Ricardo and Zornae were adopted by another family and moved to Florida.
“A lot of the information that allowed us to find her came from our adoptive parents,” Ricardo Sepulveda said.
He said he and his sister grew up in a loving home with parents who understood that they would eventually want to know their mother’s story. They kept a file with newspaper clippings and records.
On Christmas eve 2010 Josefina will be reunited with her children for the first time since her kidnapping.
Their mother will arrive Christmas Eve.
“We’re so nervous, because we’re just counting down the hours and every minute and every second,” Zornae Sepulveda said.
Her brother said he imagines that it will be be “so overwhelming” to hug her and say “I love you” for the first time.
I wish them a Merry Christmas, although I have a feeling they do not need my wishes for that!
Gary Michael Heidnik (November 22, 1943 – July 6, 1999) was an American murderer who kidnapped, tortured and raped six women and kept them prisoner in his Philadelphia, Pennsylvania basement.
I really do not want to dwell on Heidnik so here is a quick reference for you if you are interested.