ROYAL PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - Carol DeVoid is crying for many reasons. She just lost her brother, Michael Bergeron, to a heart attack.
"He died from a broken heart, my brother," said DeVoid. "He was consumed."
The Royal Palm Beach man passed away before being able complete the mission of a lifetime to find his young daughter, Ami.
Bergeron, who was 59, claimed the little girl had been abducted by her mother and taken out of the country. "He thought that they were just going for a visit, and they never came back," said DeVoid.
Bergeron's struggles were publicized years ago. He had said in August of 2009 that his wife told him she was fed up with the United States and wanted to back to her native Peru with their daughter.
After that, Bergeron's Royal Palm Beach home became a library of photographs of what once was - and also what he hoped could be. Piles of government documents showed his unsuccessful attempts to find and reunite with Ami. "I don't think people are aware of any of this unless your family is actually going through this," said DeVoid.
Marianne Malky, of the non-profit organization Voice For The Children, had been trying to help Michael for years. "Everybody thinks that if you have a parentally abducted child, you call the police, and they are going to search for them," said Malky. "It's up to you to find your own child."
Before he died, Bergeron tried to hire an international lawyer to take the case, but it was too expensive. Bergeron also feared that he could be arrested for abduction if he went to Peru to find Ami himself.
DeVoid now longs for her niece, she grieves for her brother and she still holds much anger for the woman who, she says, changed the course of so many lives forever. "She did not have the right to tear that child from my brother and our family," she said.
Bergeron's family says they are not sure what they will do next to bring Ami home, but that they certainly are not giving up.
Soon they plan to spread his bury his ashes with other family in New England.