Girl still missing, may have been sold

Walter Borges
The Dallas Morning News
August 10, 1985

A forged notary's signature led a state district judge Friday to restore parental rights to the mother of a missing 8-month-old baby girl who was allegedly sold and adopted by a New York couple.

District Judge Craig Penhold voided the document in which the mother surrendered her parental rights after the notary testified that she had not signed the document and that she had been at a Mexican resort on the date she supposedly witnessed the signature.

The child, Rachel Marie Hagge, remained missing Friday. Police have said they suspect the child may have been sold after after the mother signed papers to permit adoption by a Cedar Hill couple. The Cedar Hill couple disappeared after being questioned by authorities investigating the role of Dallas lawyer Robert I. Kingsley in the transaction.

Kingsley and his wife, Kit, were indicted this week on child-selling charges, including the Hagge case. State officials are investigating over 20 other adoptions in which Kingsley was involved.

Through his attorney, Kingsley has said he has done nothing wrong in arranging private adoptions.

At a hearing last month, E.A. Weinberg, an attorney for the Cedar Hill couple, Larry and Donna Blanton, testified that he had drawn up papers terminating Ms. Hagge's parental rights and making the Cedar Hill couple the conservators with the right to decide who should adopt the child. The baby's mother testified previously that she had given her permission only for adoption by the Blantons, whom she knew.

During Friday's session, Weinberg said he had been unable to get the relinquishment papers notarized because the mother had no identification with her when they visited the notary. He gave the papers to the mother and the Blantons, who returned the papers to his office several days later.

Witnesses who signed the papers said they signed at an apartment with no notary public. The papers were given to the Blantons after Blanton said he could get the documents notarized, according to testimony.

Notary Marguerite Lindley, whose signature appeared on the document, told the court the signature was not hers and said she was in Cancun, Mexico, on the date indicated on the papers.

Penfold said further hearings will await the return of the baby to his court's jurisdiction.


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