DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – CBS 11 News is reporting an exclusive story of what could be an incredible case of mistaken identity. A Dallas man says he’s convinced he’s not who he’s been told he is for the past 50 years. Now a life-threatening illness has him on a quest to find his true identity.
Looking at a photo album Sam Miller said, “I was a happy baby.”
Miller often thumbs through old photo albums looking at pictures of himself at birthday parties, in the bathtub and on Halloween.
If pictures can tell our life stories then Miller is missing a few albums.
“I sure would like to find out who I am and where I’m from,” he said.
Like so many other people, Miller is desperately searching for his birth mother, but in this case his life depends on it.
Explaining the situation the Dallas father said, “My only hope for a long-term healthy life is [getting] a kidney.”
Miler suffers from a genetic kidney disease and needs a transplant. Three weeks ago, while looking for a donor the 49-year-old man discovered he wasn’t who he thought he was.
“I was adopted and my mother kept it a secret from everybody,” he said. “Lots of people in the family knew [but] she kept it from me.”
Miller’s adoptive parents have passed away so there are questions left unanswered. Then there was another twist to his search. Miller’s friend, who lives on the east coast, told him about the FBI re-opening a 1964 case involving a baby boy stolen in Chicago.
The baby was just 30 hours old when he was taken from a mother who’d just given birth. A woman had gone into a hospital, dressed like a nurse, and told the new mother that doctors needed to see her baby to run some tests. Believing the person was a nurse the woman handed over her child and didn’t see him again. The story captivated the country.
Nearly two years later a child was found abandoned outside a store in Newark, New Jersey. Of course this was long before DNA, based mostly on the shape of the toddler’s ears officials determined child was the one missing from Chicago. That man lived as Paul Fronczak for decades until finally asking the people he knew as his parents for a DNA sample. The tests revealed there was no way he was the missing Chicago child.
Flash forward to 2013 when authorities release a computer-aged composite sketch of Paul Fronczak, who would now be 49 years old. When looking at the picture, Miller was truck by the resemblance.
The North Texas man now believes he is that Chicago baby. Miller thinks he is the real Paul Fronczak.
“Every time I looked at that picture it was haunting, because my baby picture matched, and my face matched one of the age progression drawings. It’s unnerving.”
Miller has been in touch with the FBI and he is now waiting on DNA test results.
Miller’s son, Sam Junior, has been helping him with the quest. “If we can help my Dad find a kidney, if we can Paul Fronczak find his real story, if we can help my Dad find his real story, I think that’s amazing.”
As the Miller family waits for answers about ancestry and possible past crimes committed their ultimate wish is to have the journey lead them to a kidney.
The elder Miller’s wish for the future is simple. “I’m hoping to live a normal life and be able to see my children get married.”
(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)
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