Baby Abandoned In Fast Food Bathroom Finally Gets Answers About Her Family

September 10, 2019

When something crazy happens, it makes headline news. And back in 1986, a Burger King in Allentown, Pennsylvania was making the news nationwide for reasons that the staff couldn’t have ever expected.

After employees and customers heard a persistent whine coming out of the bathroom, they initially assumed that there was a rather unfortunate diaper change happening — which likely happened daily at Burger King. But this cry was like no other. For one, it never stopped.

Eventually, an employee walked into the restroom to see what was happening — and that’s when she was first spotted. A newborn baby girl, approximately hours old, was making the noise. And no parent was in sight. It’s such an odd situation that a Burger King employee probably never imagined being in, but luckily, things had a happy ending.

First, an ambulance was called to make sure the baby was okay. Reportedly wrapped in a sweater and located under the bathroom sink, she got the all-clear from the EMT’s. They also confirmed that the baby was very young, at approximately three hours old. After the poor newborn was checked out and deemed healthy, police got involved. What was the situation here, and why was this young girl abandoned at a fast-food restaurant?

1. The sad news is that they didn’t have many clues.

There were a lot of people in the Burger King, and obviously, nobody was on the lookout for someone who may have chosen the location to abandon their newborn.

LifeDaily reports that one of the officers checking out the location commented, “Right now, we’re the only thing this kid’s got in terms of a family.” As sad as that is, it’s still fortunate that she was found in time, and put in reliable care. Without the police or EMT’s around, this story may have had a tragic ending.

2. Police and EMTs were on the lookout for her parents.

Unfortunately, nobody spoke up to claim her.

One of the EMTs reportedly said that “I’m sure whoever gave her up is having a very hard time right now.” And that’s a sentence that should make you think. After deciding that, you can imagine that a lot of pain was involved. It’s possible that the woman who was pregnant knew she’d never be able to give her child a good life.

3. That, or they were trying to protect her.

Families aren’t always supportive.

The baby could have been left for their own good. It’s possible that the mom was in a bad situation and chose the location out of love. It seems a little ridiculous at first, but if you’re panicking about the safety of your child, it might make sense at the moment. Again, Burger King was crowded that day. This was well before people preferred drive-thru.

4. Even if this was an unwanted pregnancy, it was a move that’d haunt the mother forever.

Nobody forgets about a full-term pregnancy.

It’s a pretty safe assumption that the newborn’s birth mother would be thinking about her every day, and questioning the choice she made. Still, that guilt wasn’t enough for her to come forward when police began questioning. There’s no doubt that this woman saw the headlines and knew that her baby was in custody of the police.

5. The baby was so young that she still had her umbilical cord.

Wrapped in the sweatshirt, she was also on top of a plastic bag.

The Morning Call reports that she was taken to Allentown Hospital right after being found. She was at a good weight at 7 lbs. Even though she may have had the pregnancy in secret, it seems as if her mother tried her best with taking care of her while she in the womb.

6. The newborn became known as “The Burger King Baby.”

And in 1987, police were almost certain that she’d never reunite with her mom.

“What could she have been thinking when she walked out of here? It’s like she just didn’t have a heart,” Robert Wilson, the manager who found the baby, said to the Morning Call just months after the incident took place. She was placed in foster care, with hopes of being adopted out after nobody stepped forward.

7. Only one witness spoke up, and they didn’t say much.

They admitted to driving the mother to the Burger King but refused to give additional information.

This was frustrating to the cops, who assumed that the woman didn’t want to get arrested for having anything to do with the case. But, she wouldn’t have. Still, it must have been an awkward situation to be in, especially if you didn’t know that abandonment was in the plan.

8. The Burger King Baby was adopted out to a loving couple.

They made sure that her life was as rewarding as possible.

She was named Katheryn, which helped her live more of an anonymous life after the scandal made the news. Brenda and Carl Hollis lived locally and were following the story before the adoption. That means that there was a good chance that her birth mother was still technically close by.

9. Eventually, they told her about her “fame.”

It’s a hard story to grasp, but much easier when you have two loving adoptive parents by your side.

Supposedly, what helped Katheryn digest the news was seeing old press clippings from the ’80s. She became obsessed with the case. “I would never want to replace my adopted family,” she said, according to Eternally Sunny “but being adopted, a part of you is missing and unless you’ve been adopted, you really just don’t understand that.”

10. Katheryn later became an EMT driver.

It’s possible she was inspired by her story.

In her late 20’s, she was married with a child and felt an all-new level of her story. There are really no words to describe the mother-and-child bond, and after gaining the title of mother, she felt more inclined to find her mom and learn her story. The good news is that resources exist now that didn’t back in the ’80s — like, Facebook.

11. Katheryn made a post about her story which quickly went viral.

Plenty of people shared her plea to find her birth mother, which she posted on Facebook back in 2014.

And eventually, she surfaced. Since plenty of people were curious about what the Burger King Baby was doing now, her name recognition helped her post reach more people. Katheryn was very honest in her photo, which stated her birthday and her plea to connect with her birth mom. In the photo, she’s smiling.

12. Her mother’s name was Cathy Pochek.

She admitted that she had left Katheryn in the Burger King all of those years ago.

When the two first met up,  a hug helped break the ice. “I was extremely nervous,” Pochek admitted to Today. “I was at the advantage because I had seen interviews that she had done, and I was just so proud of her, and how articulate she was in expressing her feelings, and grateful for her mom for a beautiful childhood that she gave her.”

13. Pochek admitted that she was raped when she was 16.

That rape led to pregnancy.

She was so scared that she didn’t even tell her parents about the attack, which happened during a spring break outing. It’s a shame that Pochek had to keep this secret for so long. She reportedly left Katheryn in a Burger King since she knew that she’d be quickly found there — and also because she was too scared to go to the hospital.

14. It makes you wonder how many other young women may have been in similar circumstances.

They might just think the rape was their fault, or feel as if their parents would disown them if they knew what happened.

That’s why having access to women’s health care is so important. Pochek was brave for speaking out and agreeing to reunite with her daughter, whom she secretly kept tabs on all of these years later. But, surely she went through a lot of unnecessary fear and guilt based on something out of her control.

15. The two even had a lot of strange things in common.

For one, they have the same name, albeit spelled differently.

They also both work as EMT’s and drive the same type of car. But one of the strangest coincidences of all is the fact that Pochek used to babysit a kid who’d later become Katheryn’s husband. So surprisingly, they’ve always been connected. It’s perhaps the happiest ending to a tragic beginning. Katheryn ended up with a strong mom and a strong birth mom, and the whole family can move on from here.