Kim Smith

Real Name: Unrevealed, possibly Mary Carson
Case: Lost Family
Location: Richmond, Virginia
Date: February 9, 1965


Details: On February 9, 1965, an unidentified woman walked in Grace Hospital in Richmond, Virginia. She was described as "tall, strikingly beauty" and appeared to be in her early to mid-thirties. She admitted a baby girl for the first in a series of operations for congenital glaucoma that would be necessary to save the child's eyesight. Since the case was a referral from a nearby clinic at the Medical College in Virginia, the admissions staff asked few questions, assuming the records would soon come to fill in the gaps. The woman called herself "Mary Carson", said the baby's name was "Kim", and that Kim was 2 1/2 months old. Mary gave the baby to nurse Billie Updike; she then told her that she had to go home to take care of other children and would be back the next morning. For some reason, she did not seem upset about leaving her child.
When "Mary" didn't come back the next day for Kim's scheduled surgery, they called the phone number that was on the form, but it was not in service. Since they needed Mary's release in order to proceed with the surgery, hospital administrator Douglas Pace went to the address where Mary said she lived. He found that the homes there had been demolished; it was now a vacant lot used for public parking. They checked the records from Medical College and found that it had the same fraudulent phone number and address. Douglas convinced a judge to issue a court order, allowing doctors to perform the surgery. The operation was considered a success, but Kim's eyesight would never be normal.
The Richmond Times placed Kim's story in the newspaper, asking for Mary to come forward. Although nobody came forward to claim her, readers did send several donations for Kim's surgery and medical care. The police did an investigation but could never locate Mary Carson or any of Kim's family members. Over a year later, Kim was put up for adoption, but social workers knew it would be difficult to get a child with vision impairments adopted. They turned to the newspapers; this time, it worked. Richard and Sandra Butler read the story in the newspaper and were touched by Kim's story. The Butlers adopted her and named her Kimberly Dawn Butler. Kim was treated the same as the Butler's two biological children, but her poor eyesight made her life a struggle.
Since then, despite being legally blind, Kimberly has gone to college, and, in 1989, married a sheriff's deputy named Michael Smith. Kim now takes care of her two children, and hopes to find her family not only to reunite with them, but to find more about the hereditary glaucoma or any other disease she might have or pass to her children.
She has no anger towards her birth mother. She believes that she was forced to leave her because she could not afford the surgery. Kimberly was dropped off at a Richmond, Virginia hospital on February 9, 1965. Her mother used the name "Mary Carson" and was described as "tall, strikingly beauty". She would today be in her eighties.
Extra Notes: This segment was featured as part of the July 19, 2002 episode, along with The Parents of Elizabeth Bagwell.
Results: Unsolved. Billie Updkie passed away in 2011.