At long last: father and daughter reunited

By Juan Carlos Fanjul - bio | email

LANTANA, FL (WFLX) - Melinda McGillivray thought she knew who her father was until mom dropped a bombshell: It wasn't the man who raised her.

"I think I was having an identity crisis," she said.

Instead, her mother told McGillivray her biological father was one of two former boyfriends, but she didn't know which one.

"I eventually forgave her over the years," said McGillivray.

It wasn't until her so-called "psychological dad" died, that she started looking in earnest for her real father and the grand-father of her daughter, 9-year-old Corina.

Possibility number 1 did not have a DNA match, so she knew the other man must have been her dad.

"I really didn't have the money to pay for an investigator. So, I tried my own means," she said.

She researched on the internet, using online people finder websites. But it was on, a free online service, that she struck gold.

"That gave me a free outlet for several phone numbers and I went from there," she said.

After several weeks, she found 51-year-old Dean Schmidt of Chicago and reached him by phone.

"He had no idea he was missing a daughter. Not a clue," she said.

Schmidt has two other daughters -- meaning McGillivray has half-sisters too.

Schmidt wanted to meet his long-lost daughter right away.

He's flying into Palm Beach International Airport Wednesday afternoon.

A reunion 30 years in the making. "I'm exhilarated there are no words to describe it. This is someone who is part of me, a missing void who is the other half of me," she said.