Woman reunited with abandoned baby she found in 1951


"My neighbor came over to have coffee with me and she said 'Jan, you've got a cat mewling in your car," said Jan Hungerford.

Now 83, Hungerford remembers well that night in April 1951 when a neighbor said there were strange sounds coming from her car.

"There was a little blue bundle on the passenger side front seat of the car, powder blue blanket, wrapped papoose style," Hungerford said. "Lifted the lid, and these two little eyes were staring at me."

The baby, dubbed "Jane Doe" by Contra Costa Sheriffs, was clean and neatly swaddled in that car on Concord's Coventry Road.

Now she's 62-years-old and her name, Kira Derhgawen. She found Jan after years of research.

"I called her and I said, uh, did you used to live on Coventry Road in Concord" Derhgawen said. "'Yes, were you there when I, when an abandoned baby was found? Yes."

Days after the baby was found a letter arrived postmarked from Alameda. The writer said she was the teen mother, that the child was taken from her by the father, and that the infant was not unwanted or unloved.

Derhgawen was adopted and eventually moved to Washington state. But her desire to find her birth mother has led her back to the Bay Area, where she met the woman who found her.

"I told her when I first saw her and held her face, I said those two eyes have changed and my have you grown since I last saw you!" Hungerford said.

Now that the two have become fast friends, almost family, they can't help but look back on their chance encounter right here on this street more than 60 years ago as something that happened for a reason.

"I love this lady, I sure do," Derhgawen said while hugging Hungerford tight.

She feels her effort has already paid off, but finding her birth mother would be the final chapter.

"I'll be happy whether or not I find her, but it might add as much joy to my life as meeting Jan, seeing Jan, being reunited with Jan face-to-face," Derhgawen said.

If anyone has information about the 1951 abandoned baby case, please call Jimmy Lee at the Contra Costa Sheriffs Department (925) 313-2643

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