Twenty-seven years ago, Katheryn Deprill was abandoned by her mother at a Burger King in Allentown, Pennsylvania. And now, through social media, the married mother of three is determined to find the woman who left her so many years ago.
By Katherine Cavazini/CNN
Nurses said Katheryn Deprill was just 3 hours old when a woman sipping coffee at a Burger King in Allentown, Pennsylvania discovered her lying on the floor of the women’s bathroom in 1986.
And now, 27 years later, the woman dubbed by the media as the “Burger King Baby” is intent on finding the woman who abandoned her so many years ago.
Deprill, now married with three children, posted a photo of herself on her Facebook page this past Sunday holding up a handwritten message.
“Looking for my birth mother. She gave birth to me September 15, 1986. She abandoned me in the Burger King bathroom only hours old, Allentown, PA,” the message read. “Please help me find her by sharing my post. Maybe she will see this. Thank you.”
The decades-old mystery made headlines when details of the case first broke. And now, years later, the case is back in the spotlight.
Lehigh Valley’s newspaper, “The Morning Call,” featured Deprill’s story Tuesday. The article also shared a detailed account, based off information from police, of what happened back on September 15, 1986.
According to police, a Burger King employee arrived at the restaurant around 5:30 a.m. that morning. Around 7 a.m., he said he heard a baby crying, but he assumed it was someone changing a diaper inside the women’s room.
An hour later, the man said he heard crying again, prompting him to approach a customer and ask her to check the women’s room.
The customer, who also heard cries, opened the bathroom door and saw a newborn baby lying on the floor. The baby was swaddled in a red sweater and lying on top of a white plastic bag.
She was taken to the Allentown General Hospital. Doctors say she was approximately 7 pounds, full term and in good health. Her umbilical cord was attached and knotted.
The restaurant employee who first heard the baby’s cries told police he saw a woman in her early 20s, with collar-length, frizzy, sandy brown hair. He said she was driving a blue 1970s car.
Despite an examination of the bathroom, interviews with witnesses, a search of the surrounding area, and numerous tips, the mother was never found.
The newborn baby was in the hospital for three days before she was released to the foster care system. She was adopted by Brenda and Carl Hollis, a well-known foster family in the area.
Years later, Deprill said she was 12 years old when her adoptive parents decided to reveal what happened to her. She always knew she was adopted, but what her parents showed her next came as a complete shock:
A memory book complied by her parents with keepsakes contained a police report about the “Burger King Baby” investigation and various newspaper clippings about the case.
“It was dropped on me,” Deprill told the Morning Call. “That I was known as the Burger King Baby.”
After years of self-loathing and self-doubt, Deprill said her marriage and the birth of her three sons made her realize that what happened to her was a blessing in disguise.
With the encouragement of her adoptive mother, Deprill decided to begin the search for her birth mother, using Facebook as a starting point.
Deprill told the Morning Call she is not angry with her birth mother. She just wants answers to questions about her background. She also hopes that her mother is doing well.
“I would like to say thank you to her, that she did not throw me away,” Deprill said in the interview.