Abandoned Sisters Find Each Other After 50 Years

sisters found after 50 years
sisters find each other after 50 years


WKRC in Cinninatti covered a story about abandoned sisters that found each other after 50 years. Sandra did not even know she was adopted up until her sister called her.

” Sandra Richards grew up as an only child in Arizona. She raised five kids and settled in Union, Kentucky. But she left something very important behind in Phoenix more than five decades ago. Richards was the only daughter of Jackie and Viola Jean Hopkins. Or so she thought for the last 55 years.

Out in the backwoods of Kentucky overlooking a state park, life was quiet, peaceful, and relatively predictable. Richards and her grown kids liked it that way. But an email Sandra got in August 2016, was about as unpredictable as she could ever have imagined.

“Hi Sandra, my name is Linda doing DNA research and looking for family members. My mother is Viola Jean, married to Joe Bergfeld. I have a sister named Sandra born January 16th, 1961. I was wondering if that could be you?””

“Until July 17, 2016, when she went on Facebook and saw a picture of Linda, who looked like her. At first Sandra thought someone was messing with her, like a joke, but she saw the picture and knew.

Turns out Linda Marshall was born in Phoenix in 1962, 13 months after Sandra, and abandoned two weeks after birth. Placed in foster care then adopted, Linda wasn’t allowed to look for her birth family until she was 18, and then spent the next 36 years searching. Finally enlisting the group DNA Detectives to help. In 17 days, they found Sandra.”

DNA Detectives Help Abandoned Sisters Find Each Other

DNA Detectives is a great volunteer group started by CeCe Moore and has a Facebook page where people go to ask for help finding their family. For DNA Detectives, sisters that are looking for siblings or birth familyis not an unusual story. I am a member of this group and the search angels are remarkable giving up their free time to help others.

The sisters finally got to meet each other and spend time together. “Not many people get to do this or get the chance to find their birth sister and meet them after 54 years,” said Linda Marshall. “And I’ve been told for years it would never happen. And for it to be right here, right now? It’s so unreal; I can’t even tell you. It’s amazing.”

sisters reunion

Sisters reunion

When Linda was 8-years-old, The Beatles released “The Long and Winding Road,” a song she would sing to her birth mother.

“It’s about my life. I’ve been on this long, winding road looking for you. Please point me in the way to your door; please show me; I need your help,” said Marshall.

So one sister found the way; the other found what’s been missing. And as for what’s next–they can’t wait to find out.

Linda was able to stay for four days and met dozens of new family members before returning to Reno.

The DNA search continues, and it appears there are at least two more siblings, maybe more.

If you are searching for your birth family, check out DNA Detectives on Facebook. Search Squad, also o Facebook is another great volunteer organization on Facebook.

About the author


I found my birth family after 40 years of looking for them. I used DNA tests, software to sort DNA match results, family trees, contacting DNA matches and several website tools. We want to provide you a "one stop shop" with all your resources to help YOU find YOUR family.

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