'There is a baby in the front seat of my car and I don't know who owns him," Claire Pullen told the operator.
It was a freezing cold night in January 1962, and Ms Pullen, the wife of a Belfast GP, had just discovered a baby boy, tucked inside a red tartan duffel bag. The following day, the story of the baby left in a driveway appeared on the front page of the 'Belfast Telegraph', but no one came forward to claim him.
Across the Border, six years later, Donal Boyle, a lorry driver from Macroom, Co Cork, was on his way to Belfast when he stopped in Dundalk to make a call. Inside a phonebox close to a local hospital, he found a red tartan duffel bag with a baby girl stowed safely inside. The little girl was wearing a handmade dress and the bottle placed next to her was still warm. Again, efforts to trace the baby's parents proved unsuccessful.
Without birth records or parents, the two abandoned babies were adopted and grew up as David McBride and Helen Ward.
They both led happy lives, David in Lisburn and Helen in Dublin, but fundamental questions about identity, about when and where they were born, meant a reckoning with the past was inevitable.
"When I was 17, I asked my [adoptive] dad," Helen told the Irish Independent this week. "He said, 'Let sleeping dogs lie' and I think he said that because he wanted to protect me."
Helen, now 52, made several fruitless attempts to discover more about her origins, including a 2012 interview with the Irish Independent which led her to Donal Boyle and an appearance on RTÉ's 'Liveline'. Separately, David launched an appeal for information on the radio in 2002 and appeared on the Gerry Kelly TV show in the North, also in vain.
"I had sort of given up a wee bit," said David, speaking from his home in Birmingham this week.
"I did a newspaper article in 2012 but that was it then. It is like hitting your head against a brick wall sometimes, so you go through phases."
Despite several news stories at the time, no one ever made the connection about the tartan bags. Helen just south of the Border, David north of it.
That is until Ariel Bruce, a social worker who has made a career of tracking down long-lost relatives, entered the frame.
"My sister encouraged me to send my DNA profile to Ariel to see if she could find a match," said David.
Separately, Helen had entered her own DNA on to the system a year before, a 50th birthday present from her best friend Eimear.
"It was the best gift anyone has ever given me," Helen said.
Through the advances of modern science, there then followed a remarkable discovery. When Ariel put David's DNA into the online database, she discovered he had a perfect match.
Not a parent in fact, but a sister, a full sister. It was Helen.
"Ariel had never come across anything like it before," said David.
"Helen doesn't know this, but I was asked to send a second profile. I think they wanted another test because at that point they had spoken to Helen and they wanted to confirm exactly what they found. I ended up doing two DNA tests."
What followed was an emotional meeting, featured last weekend on 'Long Lost Lives, Born Without a Trace', an ITV programme that tracks down lost relatives. In an extraordinary moment captured on screen, David and Helen met for the first time.
Tears were shed, stories exchanged. And they were left with more questions than answers. The show has not been broadcast in Ireland, prompting the siblings to tell their story here, in the hope that they can piece together the missing parts of a puzzle that kept them apart for years.
"We know there are people in Ireland who know something," he said. "We would appeal to those people to come forward and confide in us. We deserve to know about our parents."
As the programme revealed, when researchers trawled an ancestry DNA site, they found profiles that matched Helen and David. Family members connected to both their parents had uploaded their DNA, leading the team to establishing who their mother and father were.
David and Helen's mother was Catholic who had a love affair spanning almost 40 years with their father, a married man with 14 children. Both lived in Dublin.
"Our father was a musician who played in a Dublin dancehall and I presume that's how they met," said David. "Our mother worked in retail. She was from Kerry but had moved to Dublin. We know little about their relationship as it stands."
Both birth parents have sadly passed away. Their father died in 1993, aged 82, and their mother in 2017 at the age of 90.
The siblings have also learned that their mother was 34 when she had David, and 41 when she gave birth to Helen - never marrying or having any more children.
Illegitimacy and the religious divide sealed David and Helen's fates; their mother's death three years ago meant some mysteries would always remain unsolved, some wounds impossible to heal.
"If we had met her before she passed, I probably would have wanted to know why she did what she did," said Helen.
"From that question you would probably get answers as to the times, as to the circumstances, as to her choices."
Out of respect for two families they are still trying to get to know, both David and Helen have asked that, for now, their birth parents are not named.
They have four older sisters and 10 older brothers on their father's side and extended family members on their mother's side, and they are still making tentative steps to learn more about each parent.
"We are hoping this will help jog memories," said David.
"In Kerry, someone might recall something. With a bit of luck, it might jog the memories of our mother's side too. People might say, 'Look, we have kept this under the carpet for too long, we need to come out and reveal this, particularly because Helen and David need to know.' Our mother and father have passed away. They were our parents and we have a right to know what went on between them."
Central to their shared story, the siblings believe, is the Ireland of the 1960s, a time and place that was a cold house for unmarried mothers.
Back then, a child born out of wedlock was a scandal, but a child born to a Catholic mother and a married Protestant father was another scandal entirely.
After meeting each other for the first time last October, the siblings journeyed to Kerry, where they laid flowers at their mother's graveside.
"It was a journey I never thought I would make with a brother," said Helen.
"She was our mother and we believe she wanted the best for us. In doing what she did, she sentenced herself to a lifetime of suffering in silence."
As part of their journey together, each has visited the spot where the other was found and they both now have theories on why their parents did what they did.
In 2012, Donal Boyle told Helen that he recalled there was a car parked close to the phone box - and while he was inside, this car circled around before driving off. It is a detail that still niggles.
"There are a few different ways of looking at it," said Helen. "Until we find out more, we can't actually say, right, 'It was your mum and dad who put you in the phonebox that night'. Was it a friend? Was it a grandparent? Was it an aunt? Friends of my father, friends of my mother?"
Although lockdown has prevented meetings with extended family members on both parents' sides, David had a brief meeting with some of his relatives before Christmas.
"I met some of our mother's family in Kerry," he said.
"I learned that she had a personality very much like Helen's - she was a dressmaker, like Helen. She was sociable and articulate and very kind."
Like his sister, David believes someone helped his mother on the night she left Helen and that their parents may have been influenced by other people when decisions were being made.
"I think there are people who assisted our parents," he said.
"I am almost certain the lady who was seen the night that Helen was found was our mother. I also think it was our mother who placed Helen in the telephone box.
"Whether the gentleman that was in the car was our father, or a family relative of our mother, I don't know.
"It may have been that the individual who went along with our mother that night may have been going along to make sure that Helen was placed in a telephone box to make sure what they had agreed was happening."
The siblings believe shame and fear may stop them getting to the full truth.
Several themes run through their story, close-knit communities in rural Ireland, the influence of the Church, the attitude of society to unmarried mothers, and the bubbling tensions in the North.
"There was a lot at stake," said David.
"If they had been found out, their lives were over. They would have been sent to prison and cast out by their families."
As Helen and David spoke via a shared video-call this week, thoughts returned to the almost identical bags each was placed in as babies.
The siblings have learned that their father was born in Scotland and moved to Dublin as a baby.
Was the red tartan a nod to his heritage? Or is the simpler explanation that their mother wanted someone to make a link between her two children? "I think there is a connection with the bag," said David.
"There was six years between us. Our mother or father, or both of them, had to find the same bag, which was the same colour and the same make. I think someone wanted a connection to be made."
The question of how no connection was made until last year is one they have both discussed.
"We were found in two different jurisdictions in the 60s," said David. "There was a huge mistrust between the RUC and gardaí at that time.
"I would question how much co-operation there was between the two jurisdictions at the time and whether or not there was a concerted effort to link up."
To date, the siblings have no knowledge that their parents had any link to the North.
Again, they are looking for answers about why David was placed there, on a quiet residential street, under the cover of darkness.
"Our story didn't end with the programme," said Helen.
"It brings us to another chapter, one we will share together as we try to find out the truth.
"I hope our story will encourage people to let the secrets of the past be free, for their own peace of mind and for those who need answers."