Vancouver, WA (KPTV) — A Seattle woman trying to find her long lost dad on Facebook shared a special photo that’s been re-shared so many times, it may have finally reached the man she was looking for. Turns out, he may only live a couple hours South, in Vancouver.
The two tell FOX 12 they’re trying not to get their hopes up until a DNA test comes back, but their stories all seem to match up. Now, some 37 years later Tina Gomez and Ric Castellanos are finally learning all about each other.
On a whim, Tina Gomez posted a photo to Facebook, hoping it would somehow lead her to her long lost father. She knew his name, but says she she had no idea who he was. That photo was shared tens of thousands of times since that day, until it wound up on Ric Castellanos’ computer screen.
“I said, I’m going to call her up, I took a picture of myself and sent it to her,” said Castellanos.
Gomez says she was stunned to hear his voice on the other end of the line.
“He said, ‘you know I remember your mom, she was very beautiful, and I’m just amazed, I’m excited,’ and he said, ‘I don’t know what to say,'” said Gomez.
Castellanos says he dated Gomez’s mother in California for a couple months and then moved to Vancouver, not knowing she was pregnant.
“I wish I would have known,” said Castellanos.
Gomez, who now has a family of her own, says she always felt a little piece of her was missing. Turns out Castellanos has felt the same way too, without really ever knowing why.
“I’ve been looking for something like this for a long time,” said Castellanos. “I’m pleased, I’m very happy. I just wish I would have known, my life would have been so much different.”
The two are now sharing stories about themselves over the phone. Castellanos says he can already spot out some similarities in their lives.
“I can see it in her mouth, by the way she talks, the things she’s done in the past and I say, ‘oh I’m sorry, I’ve done that too,” laughed Castellanos.
It could be a reunion decades in the making, and all thanks to Facebook.
“I thanked everybody today on Facebook, and I thank Tina for looking for me and wanting me all these years later,” said Castellanos.
Gomez says she sent Castellanos a DNA test this week, Castellanos tells FOX 12 he’s about to send it off.
They expect it will take about six to eight weeks to get the results back, and if it is truly a match, the two say they plan to meet up soon after.