Saturday, May 9, 2009

Thanks to the Deseret News for writing about our search.

As many of that are here may have seen already, Elaine Jarvick wrote an article about the search for Ana Raquel. Below is a the story. We hope this will help find her.

In the home movie, Crystal is the stoic 8-year-old in the frilly dress, and Ana Raquel is the baby in the pink overalls. The camera focuses on Crystal, Ana making a pair of brief cameo appearances.

After a couple of minutes there are no more shots of Ana at all. She's there and then she's gone, just an incidental extra in a movie about a girl in a frilly dress coming to America.

The video was shot by Crystal's new adoptive parents at the Salt Lake airport on Sept. 27, 1985, the night she arrived from El Salvador. That same night, another adoptive family was there to pick up Ana, who was not quite 2 years old. In the video there is a brief frame of a woman with dark hair holding Ana. This is the clue Crystal hopes will help her find her baby sister.

"I'm hoping someone will see the video and recognize the woman," explains Crystal Lorensen Montes, who is now 31. The five-minute movie can be found on YouTube and at Or maybe someone will recognize the little boy with blond hair who is standing next to the woman with the dark hair, about 21/2 minutes into the video.

Perhaps the boy, who by now is a man of at least 30, will see it and recognize himself and Ana, who by now would be about 25.

Crystal has two other sisters, Leticia Walter Morgan and Patty Oborn Cardenas, who were also each adopted by Utahns, several months apart. Crystal and Leticia were reunited shortly after arriving in Utah, because their adoptive mothers discovered that the two El Salvadoran girls were sisters. Crystal and Leticia were reunited with Patty a few years later, after a chance encounter with Patty's adoptive uncle.

"Not one day has gone by when I haven't thought of her," says Crystal about her fourth sister. Crystal often took care of her younger sisters in El Salvador, during their birth mother's frequent long absences, when they would sometimes have to forage for food. "I was more or less their mother," Crystal says. "I looked at Ana as my own child."

Crystal remembers how sad she felt at the airport the night they arrived, and how she wanted to tell someone that the baby in the pink outfit was her sister. But everyone was speaking English. "I felt so confused," she remembers.

The sisters have tried, off and on since they were teenagers, to find Ana.

"It's like there's a missing piece in our puzzle that's keeping our family from fitting together," says Leticia.

They don't know if Ana lives in Utah, or even if her name is still Ana Raquel. It is only recently that they have intensified their search, creating the Web site and posting the home video. They are hoping to also set up a Facebook page.

With all that Internet presence, they hope, someone — maybe even Ana herself — will contact them with news.