05/07/2014 12:37 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Good Samaritan Finally Reunites With Woman He Saved From Likely Death 58 Years Ago

More than 50 years after rescuing an abandoned infant from a likely death, Dave Hickman finally got to meet the woman the newborn has become.

When he was just 14 years old, Hickman stumbled across an infant in the southern Indiana woods after he heard odd sounds while he was out hunting.

"I knew something was wrong," Dave recalled to Fox45, remembering the late September day in 1955. "I had no idea it would be a baby."

He and his grandfather alerted the sheriff, and the baby was taken to a hospital, nursed back to health and named "Roseann Wayne."

Several months later, an out of town couple adopted Roseann. Nurses allowed Hickman to give the infant a brief goodbye, and then she was gone -- presumably forever.

But Hickman couldn't stop wondering what had become of the baby, and in December 2013, he reached out to Wayne County's retired sheriff, John Catey, for help tracking her down. According to the Indianapolis Star, Catey interviewed more than 75 people before ultimately contacting Roseann, now named Mary Ellen Suey, in California.

Suey had always wanted to meet the man who found her, but, like Hickman, assumed it wouldn't be possible. But thanks to the tireless work of Catey, the two finally met last Sunday in an emotional reunion nearly six decades in the making.

"I call him my hero here on Earth because if it hadn't been for Dave, I wouldn't be here right now," Suey told CBS. "It was almost like I had known Dave for years ... It's kind of like Dave's my big brother I, I didn't know I had."

Hickman insists he's no hero.

"I'm not a hero," Hickman said to WHIO. "I was honored that God used me to find her ... This was a terrible beginning. A tragic beginning," he added, "but it ended up as a fairy tale ... with an extremely happy ending."

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