“Burger King Baby” Finally Meets Birth Mom

2 minute read

Twenty-seven years after being abandoned in the bathroom of a Burger King in Allentown, Pennsylvania when she was just a few hours old, Katheryn Deprill finally met her biological mother Monday after recently launching a social media campaign to track her down, The Morning Call and the Associated Press report.

The birth mother — whose identity has not been revealed — got in touch with attorney John Waldron after seeing the news coverage of the photo that Deprill posted on Facebook on Mar. 2. Her plea has been shared more than 33,000 times.

Nicknamed “Burger King Baby,” Katheryn Deprill, 27, told The Morning Call, “The first thing I got was my hug that I wanted.” She said that seeing her mother was “pure joy” and that the two look so much alike that it was like “looking in the mirror.”

As the AP recounts attorney John Waldron’s description of the difficult circumstances that led to Deprill’s birth mother abandoning her newborn on Sept. 15, 1986:

The woman said that, as a 16-year-old, she was raped while traveling abroad and became pregnant. The woman said she hid the pregnancy from her parents and, after giving birth in her bedroom, felt she could not take her newborn to the hospital because she would have to answer questions.

Found wrapped in a red sweater, Deprill was adopted by Brenda and Carl Hollis and is now an emergency technician and mother of three.

After a four-hour reunion, Deprill understands why her birth mother made the decision that she made, telling CNN affiliate WFMZ, “She left me somewhere she knew I’d be found. She did not want to throw me away.”

MORE: “Burger King Baby” Launched Facebook Campaign to Find Her Biological Mother

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Write to Olivia B. Waxman at olivia.waxman@time.com