‘Lost and Found’ tells tale of reunion between mother and daughter

The  story of a remarkable coincidence first told to Quad-City Times readers 61/2 years ago will be shown to a national TV audience tonight.

The tale of how Michelle Wetzell of Prophetstown, Ill., found and reunited with her biological mother, Cathy Henzen of Eldridge will be a segment of “Lost and Found,” a regular series on OWN (the Oprah Winfrey Network), that will be shown 9-10 p.m.

Their story was first published June 19, 2006, on the front page of the Times.

Wetzell, who was placed for adoption with the Quad-City nonprofit agency Bethany for Children & Families very shortly after birth, began to search for her biological mother in late 2005 when a blood test showed an unusually high cholesterol level, raising questions about her family medical history. The search led Wetzell, then 30, to Henzen, then 55.

Stunningly, not only did they discover they had been living about an hour apart but also that they had worked together for part of 1996, when Wetzell did hair and nails at Hair By Stewarts in NorthPark Mall, Davenport while Henzen greeted customers and booked appointments.

Her mother was someone she knew and admired, Wetzell said in the 2006 article, adding, “There she was, the whole time.”

“Gosh, Michelle, what if you had come up and we had started talking? We would have known (about our connection), I think,” Henzen said during an interview the two did with the Times reporter that year.

Tonight’s segment on the Oprah network will not be the first time the women’s tale has been told to a national TV audience. After the story was printed in the Times in 2006, they and Wetzell’s adoptive mother, Joan Johnson, made a whirlwind tour of major TV outlets in New York City, making appearances on ABC’s “Good Morning America” and being interviewed by CNN, MSNBC and Fox News, among others.

In the Quad-City area, “Lost and Found” can be seen on Mediacom cable channel 220, DirecTV channel 279 and Dish Network channel 189.