DNA detective finds a woman's biological father

ByLisa Amin KGO logo
Monday, June 3, 2019
DNA detective finds a woman's biological father
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A DNA detective is hired to find a Marin County woman's birth father. She unravels the mystery behind the man she thought was her father her entire adult life. And finds the man who truly is her biological father.

SAN LORENZO, Calif. (KGO) -- It started with a swab and ended with a knock on the door.

With a life-changing moment for Jodi Klugman-Rabb, she is searching for her birth father.

"I didn't expect I would learn about a different dad," she said. 43 years later, Klugman-Rabb found that dad. Tim Mcleod.

The photo shows, Tim, and another picture shows, Sam Pearson.

Klugman-Rabb was told her mother's first husband, Sam Pearson, the man in uniform, was her real father.

From the time she was born, in Marin County, until the age of 12.

RELATED: 2 Bay Area women linked to 28 siblings following DNA test

Then, everything changed with her mother's second marriage to a man named Wayne.

"At age 12, I was told I was really Wayne's biological daughter," Klugman-Rabb said.

Klugman-Rabb spent her life bonding with Wayne, converting to Judaism like Wayne, and even taking his last name, Klugman.

But something was always bothering her. With her shocking red hair, she didn't 'look' like Wayne at all!

And so she hired Christina Bryan Fitzgibbons - a DNA detective.

"Two weeks later, I was down to two men who were brothers. A man named Tim McLeod and he had a brother named Cameron," said Christina Bryan Fitzgibbons, a DNA detective.

Christina took Klugman-Rabb's DNA and matched it to distant relatives who also took a similar test

"It's like a jigsaw puzzle and I know they connect somehow," Fitzgibbons said.

The detective made a family tree, slowly filling in the blanks, through DNA. First by finding Klugman-Rabb's biological 'great grandparents, then 'grandparents', and eventually her 'birth' father - Tim.

This was the only thing linking McLeod to Marin County - an old Realtor's license.

If you're wondering how McLeod even fits in - here's how.

"McLeod was the real estate agent for Jodi's parents, Sam and her mother. When they moved to Marin he became a room mate and then some," Fitzgibbons said.

But DNA doesn't lie.

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Though everything Jodi had been told her whole life, including genetically being Jewish, 'was' a lie.

"That rocked my self-concept," Klugman-Rabb said. "Holy hell, I'm Scottish!"

She eventually accepted her new norm and the fact that a 75-year-old man, living alone, in San Lorenzo, was her birth father.

"You have your grandfather's hair," McLeod told Jodi, his birth daughter.

"It's more than I could have ever have hoped for. Dreams come true for both of us," McLeod said.

If you're wondering if McLeod knew Jodi existed - the answer is yes.

But back then he thought she was better off without him.

"She was never far from my thoughts. Never.," he said.

Now, these two see each other regularly.

He's part of the family.

"I got a second chance at having a dad," Klugman-Rabb said.

But really, the third time's a charm.