A woman named Audrey certainly didn’t expect good to come from her and her twin sister’s DNA test results when it showed a dark family mystery involving true identity of their dad!
One afternoon Audrey hopped on the internet to order a DNA test for her triplets. This woman wanted to know which one of them was fraternal and which were truly identical. But when looking closer at the ancestry listed when she got the report, she thought it was strange their heritage was not Italian.
Audrey and her twin sister named Cynthia McFadden had also been told they were Italian, and both’s father was proud of it. Naturally, it led Cynthia to take the DNA test too. Similarly, it was surprising for her to see that she also had no Italian heritage.
The family assumed the first result was just a glitch but this was the third DNA test that revealed that they were not Italian at all. By then, Richard Palmadesso – their father had said good bye to his life, taking any possible answers with him. So the twin sisters sought answers from their closest living relative, a first cousin. He also took the DNA test and it confirmed their suspicions, they were not related to their father’s side of the family.
When the mystery deepened, Audrey turned back to the test results and then began combing through DNA match profiles. The woman found she had matched with a man named Tom Martin with a 22% match, which meant Tom was either an uncle or grandfather.
To better understand, the family reached out to Tom. What happened next made the twin sisters bittersweet. Tom had been desperate to find his baby brother his entire life and he then recounted the tale to Cynthia and Audrey. Tom’s little brother Jerry was k*d.napped on July 9, 1945. That day, both Tom and Jerry had been out riding bikes when the brothers were approached by a woman offering candy. Jerry went off with the woman to get the candy but he never returned.
The sisters wondered: could their father actually be Jerry Martin? Both exchanged their father’s photos with Tom and were struck by the similarities. However, it didn’t stop there when Audrey and Cynthia learned Tom loved movies, coconut cake, and acting just as much as their father did.
They all put a theory together. Their grandmother, Isabel Palmadesso may have been desperate enough to kid*nap Jerry in order to produce the son her husband, Angelo, was expecting. Angelo had been serving in the war at that time and had been absent for more than two years. They began to speculate she may have mis.carried. The anxiety and grief about Angelo’s return may have driven this woman to kid*nap Jerry, rename him, and tell him he was two years old instead of four.
It was certainly possible, but Isabel left Richard permanantly when Richard was twelve. After that, he was sent to live with his uncle, Jack Palemdesso. And the family didn’t stay in touch with Richard’s father or that side of the family.
In fact, this strange dark secret brought some closure. The twin sisters say their dad seemed to have suffered from bipolar disorder and constant anxiety that they think perhaps his mental health was a result of the childhood trauma of being kid*napped.
How Jerry ended up becoming Richard will remain a mystery. However, the sisters are thankful for the new family connections and meeting Tom. And he’s grateful to know his brother was alive and had a family. Today, Tom, his wife, and the twin sisters are in constant contact.