2 sisters meet for first time after decades-long search

After seven decades of searching Cape Girardeau County woman meets sister

CAPE GIRARDEAU COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - During the height of World War II, a young woman met a soldier at an army base in Indiana.

That soldier went off to war. Shortly after, a baby girl was born.

"When I was little I didn't know there was such a thing as a dad," said Jackie Hoffman.

Jackie would grow up not knowing anything about her father.

His identity would remain a mystery until that child's maternal grandmother passed away and a letter was found.

"So this verified, he knew you existed," we asked

"Yes," said Jackie Hoffman answered.

It was now the 1980s, and that little girl was all grown up.

Jackie Hoffman was married with a family of her own.

She tried to move on with her life, but her past always haunted her in some way.

Then, out of nowhere, she received a letter from her dad.

It started off with:

"Dearest daughter, I've been trying to get up the energy to write to you in the last two weeks."

He passed away not long after. Jackie never met him.

Fast forward to today.

Kathy Craig is from Kansas and was starting to get anxious as she drove through Cape Girardeau.

"I'm really excited, just too bad it didn't happen earlier."

Kathy is Jackie Hoffman's half-sister.

That's right, Jackie's curiosity got the best of her.

Years ago she started digging and asking questions.

She found out her father had five other children.

Three of them are still living, including Kathy Craig...who traveled to Cape Girardeau to meet Jackie for the first time.

"I called Jackie and we talked some, but oh Crystal it's been so long ago," said Kathy.

They have so much to talk about.

"Are you excited to meet her," we asked.

"Yeah, I'm shaking all over," said Jackie answered.

Kathy arrived at Jackie's daughter's house for the big reunion.

Jackie was standing outside waiting.

"She looks exactly like my little sister, Cindy," said Kathy as she pulled into the driveway and got her first glimpse of Jackie.

Instantly, Kathy knows there's no denying this is her sister.

Kathy jumped out of the car and ran to her sister and the two embraced.

"I've been wanting this for so long," said Jackie, who was trembling.

"She looks just like my dad," said Kathy. "I take after my mom."

There were so many emotions that it was hard for Jackie to take them in.

"I got the jitters and thinking, this should have happened sooner," said Jackie. "We'd have more time, years we could have visited."

"We can't make up for lost time, but hey, we have from now until whenever," said Kathy.

This reunion gives Jackie hope, something else to look forward to as she begins this new chapter.

"I think I'm at a peaceful place now." said Jackie.

"Finally, after all these years we can meet...very happy thoughts," said Kathy.

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