Master Sgt. Nicole Culverhouse, 60th Medical Support Squadron element chief, was recently reunited with her family almost four decades after she was kidnapped as a child in Bogota, Colombia.
“…At a young age, Master Sgt. Nicole Culverhouse, 60th Medical Support Squadron element chief, was kidnapped off the streets of Bogota, Colombia.
Her family was unable to find her because the orphanage that she wound up in changed her name. She then was adopted by an American family and brought to the states.
She has made the Air Force her home and even started a family of her own. In August, that family grew by approximately 40 members in two weeks.
Culverhouse went to Bogota to attend the 70th anniversary of Casa De Madre y el Niño, the orphanage that took her in. While at the orphanage, she tried to find any information they might know about her family. She searched the streets for parks and landmarks, trying to remember anything she could.
On a long shot, she called a local travel agency to see if it could give her a listing of all the parks in a one-hour radius of the orphanage.
“The travel agency thought it was a very odd request,” Culverhouse said. “I told them my story and what I was trying to accomplish and they were just overwhelmed by it all. They wrote my story on their online blog in an attempt to help.”
Soon, she received an email from a woman in a nearby neighborhood called Perservancia. The woman thought her brother may have gone to school with Culverhouse’s brother and knew a similar story.
“I traveled to Perservancia and went to the churches there to search for baptism records on myself and my brother,” Culverhouse said. “I even walked through the streets with a pencil sketch of me as a child that I had a street artist draw to see if anyone knew the story.”
The church soon called her and said it may have found her family.
“It was so sad when I met with the family,” Culverhouse said. “I wasn’t their daughter. Their daughter was kidnapped in 1992 and I was kidnapped in 1975.”
She took all their information and promised to share it one day to try to help them in any way she could. She then continued to Cartegena, Colombia to continue the search with another orphan in search of family….”
You can read more about Master Sgt. Culverhouse here
Photo Taken By Airman 1st Class Madelyn Ottem Courtesy U.S. Air Force
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