Two possible distant relatives,
including Rich, volunteered to provide DNA samples if it
would help identify the baby, but they were too far
removed for their DNA to determine parentage, said
"The answer is, we'll never know," said
Rich is sure she knows whose baby it
wasn't. And she has a theory about who the mother may
Her aunt and uncle, Della and Wesley
Russell, a postal clerk, owned the house on Kintyre. But
Rich is sure Della could not have been the mother.
For one thing, Della was certain she
could never become pregnant. If she had by some miracle
become pregnant, she would have had no reason to hide
the baby, says Rich.
Besides, Rich adds, except for a few
weeks in summer when she went to visit relatives in the
U.S., Rich was always with Della.
It would have been impossible for Della
to carry a baby to term without Rich noticing.
The boarder, George Turner, worked at
the telegraph office. He lived in the house for nearly
10 years until he married.
He was a perfect gentleman, and if he
had gotten a girl pregnant, would have married her, says
Her father Charles never dated anyone
after his wife died.
He was so devoted to her that every year
on Rich's birthday, he would open a trunk he kept,
filled with her mother's things, and present her with a
gift that he said was from her.
Rich thinks it's possible the baby may
have belonged to Della's much younger sister, Alla Mae,
a beautiful, blue-eyed blonde, who would have been in
her early 30s in 1925.
Mae's first, early marriage had ended in
She lived in New York City, but often
visited her Toronto relatives.
Rich thought Mae was glamorous. She wore
black satin and dated bandleaders. She carried around a
toy poodle she called "Teddy." She could strike up a
conversation with anyone.
Rich remembers on one visit Della
admonishing Mae for moving furniture because she was
"I don't know how authentic that is,"
says Rich. "I would like to think it was so, then I
would know she was the mother, but I don't know, it was
Life seemed happy in the Russell
Della and Wesley were loving, friendly
people, good neighbours, although they weren't overly
Wesley liked home brew, but Rich never
remembers seeing him drunk.
Everything changed when Rich was a
teenager and Della learned that her husband of 30 years
was having an affair with a younger woman.
Della suffered a mental breakdown and
Wesley had her committed to a mental institution. His
lover moved into the house, and Rich no longer felt
comfortable living there.
When the American boy she'd been dating
announced he'd found a job as an assistant manager at a
Loblaw's, she married him in Medina.
They were married for more than 60
Rich's father also left the house. Rich
heard that the woman Wesley had the affair with turned
it into a boarding house after he died in 1939.
Della outlived her husband and his
lover, but never left the mental institution.
Her brother Charles visited her every
Rich went three times but said Della
never spoke to her.
Rich and her husband made their lives in
Medina, running a florist shop.
They raised one boy and had two
grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Her husband died 10 years ago. Rich
still lives on her own.
Baby Kintyre, as he has come to be
known, will be honoured at a ceremony organized by the
Canadian Centre for Abuse Awareness on Friday, October,
12, and buried at Elgin Mills Cemetery.
"If I'm able to go, I feel that if that
baby is related to me, I certainly owe it to him," said
"I just keep wondering if he's a part of