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DNA test uncovers 52-year secret in Ramona woman's family

Posted at 6:38 PM, Jan 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-11 18:11:47-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A chance DNA test is now redefining a Ramona woman’s family tree.

Lori Webster said her sister Lisa decided to do an Ancestry DNA test to learn more about the family's background, but it revealed far more. A woman they didn't know turned out to be a relative.

“She had come up as a first sibling or first cousin, and did my sister know anybody in Saginaw, Michigan, which is where my father's from. So we said absolutely, we know someone in Michigan!" said Webster.

The woman, Erin Chatterton, was adopted when she was 2 months old and was looking for her parents. Lori and Lisa Webster's father, Dick, said he didn't know of any daughter.

For months, Lori pushed to find answers.

“Finally I showed the picture to my [step]brother and he said 'that looks exactly like my mom',” Lori said.

Lori and Lisa are the children of Dick Leslie and his first wife. The couple divorced and Dick went on to marry his second wife, Karen, and have two sons.

What Lori and Lisa didn't know was that before they had two sons, Dick and Karen had a baby girl 52 years ago. Lori and Lisa are the eldest, followed by Erin Chatterton. The two men are Erin's full brothers.

“I could not believe it! I couldn’t wait to tell my brother, 'You will not believe this!' It was crazy and I'm proud that I pushed," said Lisa.

Karen said it was a painful and heavy secret she's kept all this time. She was unmarried at the time, kicked out of her house, and left with few options.

“Yes, yes, it was hurtful because --- anytime you have to give up a baby," said an emotional Karen.

She has since been texting with her daughter Erin and will meet her for the first time in San Diego this week.

“Relieved. Just step back and revel in it, thank God, it’s his timing right now, he wants us together," said Leslie.

10News will be present at the emotional reunion and will have the story Friday on 10News at 6.