'Baby Doe' graduates from North Carolina high school

HIGH POINT, N.C. – A girl known as “Baby Doe” after she was found abandoned in a North Carolina stairwell is now celebrating her graduation from high school.

Angel Thomas is looking forward to a new chapter in her life now that she’s a graduate of T. Wingate Andrews High School.

“I'm excited. I feel like I've worked really hard these past four years,” Thomas said.

WGHP began following Thomas’ journey last year when she opened up about her story of being abandoned as a newborn, left at a Greensboro apartment complex.

Thomas wanted to meet the strangers who rescued her before graduating high school.

Shortly after sharing her story, she met Tonie McNair and her sons Willie and Ricky Baldwin – the people who brought her to safety.

“She calls me Mama Tonie, so it has changed my life. It's a daughter that I never had,” McNair said.

Thanks to an earlier WGHP story, Thomas also met her birth mother, Rochetta Cheek, who says Angel’s biological father took Angel and left her at an apartment complex close to where they were living at the time.

Carrie Thomas adopted Angel and has raised her since she was 6 weeks old.

“Just thinking about that baby that I brought home 18 and a half years ago, and now she's getting ready to walk across that stage with honors, I am so, so, proud,” she said.

Thomas, McNair and Cheek were among several family members who attended Angel’s graduation.

“I feel like I’m about to go into the real world and I’m excited for it and my goal is starting to feel reachable,” Thomas said.

"I'm just filled with so much joy, happiness,” Cheek said.

Thomas will attend Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida, to pursue her dream of becoming a commercial pilot and FBO Manager.