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Dad finds daughter on Facebook after 20 years

October 23, 2010 5:29:37 PM PDT
A man who had been searching for his daughter for 20 years located her on Facebook.

John Watson spent the last 20 years searching for his long lost daughter.

A 3-year-old girl with the bright blue eyes and an infectious smile that he walked out on nearly 40 years ago.

After searching the white pages and scowering internet sites more times than he can count, the 64-year-old was confronted with his daughter's Facebook page.

"I ran down the stairs almost tripped and fell and yelled to my wife 'I think found her! I think found her!"

But finding his daughter Dede was half the battle. He wrote and deleted 20 different letters until he finally gathered the courage he clicked the send button and sent her a message.

"The only thing I would ask is if you would kind of to tell me if I found my child. And that I would never bother her again but I needed to know so that I could stop searching," said Watson. He said he read the letter over and over 100 times.

Danielle Petratos didn't know what to do.

She waited four days, while meantime her father hoped to hear from his daughter, her husband and what he thought were just two adult grandchildren.

Watson suffered post traumatic stress disorder after serving in Vietnam and he abused alcohol and valium to escape the pain.

"I just couldn't deal with it, so I made the decision that I wouldn't deal and I just walked away. A very foolish mistake," said Watson.

Now, he's reunited with his daughter and four grandchildren, a moment he thought he never would enjoy.

His daughter said "You feel a missing piece. Everyone else has a dad and you don't have one. But he's here now."

Watson is just glad that Danielle was so forgiving.


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