Baby switching discovered - three years too late

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The Independent Online
THE MYSTERY of two baby girls switched at birth in 1995 took a new a twist yesterday with the discovery that the couple raising one of the girls were killed in a car crash before they could learn that she wasn't their biological daughter.

Kevin Chittum and Tamara Whitney Rogers died July 4 - one day after the woman raising the other girl found out about the mistake. Virgina police have launched an investigation into how the two three year olds, both blonde and blue eyed were switched.

Chittum, 25, and Rogers, his 19-year-old fiancee, also had a 1-year-old daughter.

Last week, the University of Virginia Medical Center, where the girls were born, contacted the Chittum and Rogers families, did DNA tests on the child they were raising as Rebecca and found she wasn't related to them.

Since the crash, which also killed five others, relatives of Chittum and Rogers have been caring for Rebecca in the small mountain town of Buena Vista.

The first chapter in the story of the switch was Paula Johnson's discovery in early July, from DNA tests done during a child support dispute, that she wasn't related to the girl she was raising as Callie Marie.

On Sunday, relatives of Chittum and Rogers were shown photos of Callie Marie, who lives in nearby Ruckersville with Ms. Johnson, USA Monday reported Monday.

"My God! It's Kevin's child!," Mary Watts, Chittum's aunt, told the newspaper. "She's the spitting image of our family."

"And if this lady could see Rebecca ... She looks just like her," said Linda Camden, Chittum's cousin.

Ms. Watts said Monday that she thinks the little girls should be swapped.

"It would be hard, but I'm sure," she said in a telephone interview from Buena Vista. "I hope everyone gets their own child."

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