As It Happens

[UPDATED] In 1978, her baby disappeared. Now, a Montreal mother may be reconnected with her missing child

Liliane Cyr says she has received messages through the "Find Yohanna Cyr" Facebook page from a woman who has similarities to her missing daughter, including a matching birthmark.
An RCMP sketch of what Yohanna Cyr might look like at age 36 and a baby photo of Yohanna Cyr. (Liliane Cyr/ Facebook )
Listen7:51

Update Oct. 5th, 2016: The DNA tests taken by Liliane Cyr and the unnamed woman came back negative; the pair were not a match. The search for Yohanna Cyr continues. 

A Montreal woman hopes her search may finally be coming to an end.

In August 1978, Liliane Cyr's 18-month-old daughter, Yohanna, disappeared from her St. Laurent apartment. Her boyfriend at the time said he had taken the child to stay with his mother in Boston. Then, he changed his story and said Yohanna had drowned in the bathtub. Cyr never saw her baby again. 
A photo of Yohanna Cyr before she went missing from her mother's apartment in Montreal. (Liliane Cyr/ Facebook )

For 38 years, she held out hope that she would one day find out what happened to Yohanna. In early August, she got a message through her Facebook group, "Find Yohanna Cyr." An American woman asked to be put in touch with the detectives on Yohanna's case. 

The woman also asked if Yohanna had a Y-shaped birthmark between her fingers. As Cyr tells As It Happens guest host Laura Lynch, "It was not written anywhere. Nobody knew about that mark." 
Liliane Cyr says an empty-handed search for the remains of her daughter Yohanna is like “another knife in my heart." (Jay Turnbull/CBC)

"I have an image of a little girl, 18 months old, in my mind. For me, she's a baby. Today, she's an adult." 

After Yohanna's disappearance, the boyfriend was arrested and charged with child abduction, only to be released due to lack of evidence.

Now, Cyr and the unnamed woman are getting a DNA test to see if they are a match. The results could take months to come back. Cyr says she's trying not to get her hopes up too much; she's had false alarms before. "It hurt," Cyr admits, but she's trying to stay positive.

"You just keep hope, and not forget her. I hope it is her. I have a feeling it could be." 

For more on Liliane Cyr's story, listen to our full interview. 

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