Father and son reunited after 26 years

The ministry of the Missing Persons Department reunites family members.

By Shannon McGiffert

In 1983, Todd came home to his Long Beach, Calif., apartment to find his girlfriend, the furniture, and most importantly his 1-year-old son gone. Devastated, he reverted to his old, destructive lifestyle of alcohol and substance abuse.

Eventually, Todd spent time in a Salvation Army rehabilitation center where he utilized the Western Territory’s Missing Persons service to locate his two sisters with whom he had lost contact when he moved to California years earlier. Once Todd made contact with his sisters, he seemed to be on the path to recovery.

In January 2009 Todd again contacted The Salvation Army Missing Persons service. This time he hoped to find the son who had been missing from his life for nearly 27 years.

Unfortunately, the search for Todd’s son, Steven, did not begin on a positive note. Based on the information that Todd provided on the missing person’s inquiry form, a paper trail leading to Steven did not seem to exist. His caseworker asked Todd to supply a copy of Steven’s birth certificate to see if that would uncover some leads. Todd acquired the birth certificate, which revealed that Steven’s mother had changed his last name. Confronted with the fact that Steven might be unaware that Todd was his biological father, the Missing Persons team was not sure if this would lead to the happy ending that Todd so desperately wanted. However, Todd requested that the inquiry keep going forward, even if it meant rejection by Steven, the son Todd had not seen since Steven’s infancy.

Miraculously, just three short weeks later, Steven contacted the office, ecstatic to find that his father was looking for him. Steven was now 27 years old, in the military, and had two young daughters—making Todd a grandfather! Missing Persons placed father and son in touch with each other just prior to Todd’s 60th birthday. Todd called the department, saying this was the best present he could have possibly received.


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