He was around the same age as Heist's own son was when she abandoned her Pennsylvania family nearly a decade earlier.
Forrester had taken her son aside to tell him the truth about the woman he knew as "Miss Lovey," so that he wouldn't learn about it on the news. But he told her he already knew her last name was Heist.
"I was stunned that he knew that. But for a little boy, that's kind of a cool last name. I said, honey, how did you know that? 'Miss Lovey told me.' "
No family reunion
But while Heist was making friends and living an apparently normal life in Florida, the husband, son and daughter she'd left behind in 2002 continued to wonder whether something terrible had happened to her.
Police searched for her for years, at one point creating a cold case task force. Her family remain angry over the pain her disappearance caused.
"I don't think she deserves to see me," her 20-year-old daughter Morgan Heist told CNN's "Piers Morgan Live" on Thursday night. "I don't really have any plans on going to see her."
The fact that her mother -- who she last saw when she was 8 -- never even called has left her seething, Morgan Heist said.
The anger is captured in a post on the daughter's Twitter page that reads she hopes her mother "rots in hell."
"That makes me really mad," Morgan Heist said. "I can't believe she would do that because she was a good mom. She was great. But, I mean, I guess something happened. Something snapped in her. "
Her father, Lee Heist, said he is not planning on visiting his ex-wife anytime soon.
They were going through a divorce at the time she disappeared, and he was treated for a time as a suspect in her disappearance, though he was eventually cleared.
In 2010, he filed a petition with the county court to have Brenda declared legally deceased, according to a Lititz police news release. He was seeking closure, he said.
"I don't see where it would do any good for either of us to see her again," Lee Heist said.
He later remarried and said he will learn to forgive his former wife.
But for Morgan Heist, forgiving her mom may not be easy.
"I hope to eventually forgive her one day for myself, not for her," she said.
Left on a whim
Brenda Heist vanished in February 2002 after last being seen dropping off her children at school.
She was applying for housing assistance so that she could get an apartment after the breakdown of her marriage. She worked as a bookkeeper for a car dealer and hoped to receive some financial aid.