Real Names: Unknown, possibly Pat and Mike McGuire
Case: Lost Foster Parents
Location: Miami Beach, Florida
Details: A woman named Miriam Parten (maiden name; her current last name is unrevealed to protect her identity) is searching for foster parents named "Pat and Mike McGuire" who took care of her after her father was taken to a psychiatric hospital when she was a child in 1945.
Miriam is fifty-years-old, lives in New York, and has one grown daughter. Her husband passed away in 1984 and she spends most of her time volunteering and working with other widows.
In July 1982, she was seeing a psychologist when, during a session, she began having random memories returned to her for the depths of her memory. These frightening images were of a man bringing wrapped around the face with cloth, like a mummy. Once her disconnected memories began to come through, they refused to go away. Often, she would wake up in the middle of the night and lay on the floor of her bathroom, crying. In these memories, she saw her father attacking her and later being subdued by the police.
These "flashbacks" made her psychologist believe that she was abused in the past and that her memories were coming back suddenly and haphazardly as a result. Miriam was especially surprised of her flashbacks because she had only remembered good things about her father in the past. Miriam was an only child; her father, Harry, died in 1984. Although he had often exhibited erratic behavior, her conscious memories of him have always been happy ones.
Now, she believed that something bad had happened to her between the ages of three and five. During this time, she lived with her parents in Miami Beach. According to one flashback, Miriam remembered her mother leaving for work. She asked her father to open a coconut for her. When he had trouble opening it, he threw it against a glass cabinet and then began yelling at her. He picked her up and violently shook her. When she kicked him, he dropped her. She then ran and hid behind a couch.
Next, she remembered police officers and hospital orderlies arriving to subdue her father. She now believes that her father suffered from severe mental illness. She also believes that she was taken away as her mother tried to cope. During one of her flashbacks, she realized that she had different visualizations of her "mother and father". She then remembered being in the home of this new couple, being frightened of what had previously happened to her.
Soon, however, she realized that this was a safe place and that the new couple were sweet and kind to her. As her memories seemed to return, she realized that the new couple were probably foster parents that she had been placed with. She remembered that her foster father was a young man who had white hair. She also remembered that he was a fireman. With her foster mother, she remembered that she sang her to sleep with Irish lullabies. She believes that she called them "Mommy Pat and Daddy Mike".
The happy memories soon ended. She recalled a serious discussion with Pat and Mike, with them saying that she might be taken away. She next remembered sitting in a court room with a social worker. Her real parents, along with her foster parents, were also there. The court decided that she would go back to her real parents. The last thing she remembered was crying in the court room, wishing that she could go back with her foster parents.
Miriam lived with her parents until she married at the age of twenty-one. At the age of forty-seven, she began her search for Mike and Pat. Miriam's mother admits that her father did have emotional problems. However, she denies that Miriam was ever placed in foster care. Some have suggested that Miriam suffers from False Memory Syndrome.
What is more, no court or foster records have been found for Miriam. However, the Dade County Clerk's office told Unsolved Mysteries that this was not unusual for the period following World War Two. Miriam still hopes to find her foster parents, to thank them for the love and care that they gave her. She believes that she lived with Pat and Mike McGuire between 1945 and 1946, when she was between the ages of three and four.
Extra Notes: The case was featured as a part of the May 19, 1993 episode.
Results: Unresolved. A viewer told Unsolved Mysteries that Pat and Mike McGuire did actually exist and sent a photograph of Pat when she was in her thirties. This viewer, along with several members of a church group, remember that the McGuires had taken in a child about Miriam's age in 1945. However, Miriam has been unable to locate either Pat or Mike.