Tulare man meets daughter for the first time after 53 years

TULARE, Calif. (KFSN) -- It's the beginning of a new journey as a daughter gets to meet her father for the very first time.

53-year-old Deb Scales went from researching her nationality to now, a new reality.

"I wanted to know more about my ancestry," she said. The man I thought was my father passed last year, and I was no longer able to get any information from him so when I got the results, I reached out and found out that actually that wasn't my dad and Tim Herrick is."

It's been less than two months since they found out about the news. But the common match on Ancestry DNA helped solved the puzzle.

"Six weeks ago, my sister called me and said that this young lady from Tennessee said that she was family," Herrick said. "I said, 'How is she family?' and my sister said she and Deb are 25 percent."

"I found out that I had a 25% match of somebody I didn't know," Deb said. "Then that drew another match of 15% and then under that, another match for 16%, and I was wondering who these people were."

Herrick, 78, lives in Tulare. He says 53 years ago was a long time, so he does not recall much other than he was a bachelor at the time.

Now, Herrick is married to his wife of 51 years. He has three kids, one stepson, seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

On Wednesday, his family grew even bigger.

"It will still sink in, it's still so new and fresh and we just got to feel it out," Deb said.

They both say they found out they have many similar traits and mannerisms, like the way they eat, the way they walk and even their sense of humor.

Despite the time loss, they're happy for the unconditional love now.

"I was missing something and now, I feel like I'm home," Deb said.

"She'll be a great addition to the family," Tim said.
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