« The Vanished Podcast

Melissa Highsmith Part 1: The Woman with White Gloves


On August 18, 1971, a classified ad was published for a single day in the Fort Worth, Texas newspaper, the "Fort Worth Star-Telegram." The ad read, "Babysitter wanted from 8 to 3:30 days, Spanish Gate apartments, call after 3 pm" with a phone number listed. On August 23, 1971, a woman who said her name was Ruth Johnson came to the door of Alta Highsmith, who had placed the ad, and said she was there to pick up Alta's 21-month-old daughter, Melissa Highsmith. Alta's roommate gave the baby to the woman named Ruth, who promised to return her that afternoon. Melissa Highsmith has never been seen again. The story of Melissa's abduction is a tale we will unfold for you with exclusive interviews, new information, and questions that seem as though they should be easy to answer.

If you have any information regarding the disappearance of Melissa Highsmith, please call Sergeant John Phillips with the Fort Worth Police Department at 817-889-0842. If you are unable to reach Sergeant Phillips, you can call the Fort Worth Police Department non-emergency line at 817-392-4200 and ask for Lt. Richard Demore, the supervising officer over the violent crimes unit, where we believe Melissa's case is held.

This episode was sponsored by:

Sleep Number- Proven quality sleep is life-changing sleep. Special offers, for a limited time. Only at Sleep Number stores or sleepnumber.com/VANISH.

Doordash- Our listeners can get 50% off, up to a $20 value and $0 delivery fees when you download the Doordash App and enter code VANISHED22.

If you have a missing loved one that you would like to have featured on the show, please fill out our case submission form.

Follow The Vanished on social media at:





See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

To view this and other transcripts, as well as support the generation of new transcripts, please subscribe.