CLIFFSIDE PARK, New Jersey (AP) – A man is looking forward to celebrating Father’s Day a week after his first meeting with his 40-year-old daughter, who tracked him down following decades of questions.
Daughter Jyll Justamond says she was working with limited information from her mother: that her father’s first name was Al, he was Italian and he worked at a bar called Neary’s in the 1970s.
In April, she made a post in a Facebook group for Palisades Park, where the now-defunct bar was located. That led her to the former owner, who told her he knew exactly who she was looking for.
“I said, ‘I know this is crazy, but do you happen to know a guy named Al that worked for you in 1976, 1977?’” Justamond told ABC News. “He said, ‘Oh, you mean Al Annunziata.’”
Annunziata said shortly after that he received a message asking, “Are you Al?”
“She said, ‘You might know my biological mother. Her name is Linda,’” Annunziata told WCBS-TV. “And now I’m really scared, my heart is pounding.”
Annunziata, a 63-year-old from Cliffside Park, said when Justamond’s mother got pregnant four decades ago she told him someone else was the father. He said he believed her, but the idea that the child might have been his had lingered.
“Of all the years this has been going on, it’s been out there as a burning question,” he said. “It was never resolved.”
After a paternity test proved that he was her father, Justamond traveled to New Jersey from Littleton, Colorado, to meet him on June 11.
“This just the beginning,” he said. “I’ll never let her out of my life, ever.”