Imagine Searching Your Whole Life For Family Only To Find Them A Few Miles Away

GASTONIA, NC. —  Imagine searching your whole life for family only to find them a few miles away.

“I wanted to find him probably as a teenager but back then in the 80s come I’ll date myself, they do not have social media and DNA like they do now,” says Gastonia resident Starr Dowell.

Dowell was raised by her mom and stepdad. She knew her father’s name from her birth certificate. She eventually learned he died, but her search for family didn’t end. A DNA test revealed she had a half-brother she never knew about.

“I had kind of given up hope. Like after year, two years of doing my own private investigative work, hit a dead end, and I was like, well I don’t know I’ll just sign you up for Ancestry DNA and who knows what will happen,” says Gastonia resident Ashley Caccia.

It turns out Ashley Caccia’s father is Starr’s half-brother. Ashley had been searching for family too. And the kicker? They all live less than ten miles apart.

“I messaged her back and said, oh my goodness, we’ve also been looking for you for over a year.”
The whole family recently met for the very first time.