Seven-year-old's Facebook search reunites siblings after 65 years

Siblings Clifford and Betty hug at their first meeting in 65 years. Picture: AP/The Des Moines Register (Bryon Houlgrave)

A man has been reunited with his sister 65 years after the siblings were separated in foster care thanks to a seven-year-old friend who searched Facebook.

Clifford Boyson, of Davenport, Iowa, met his sister, Betty Billadeau, in person on Saturday.

Ms Billadeau drove up from her home in Florissant, Missouri, with her daughter and granddaughter for the reunion at a hotel in Davenport.

Mr Boyson, 66, and Ms Billadeau, 70, both tried to find each other for years without success. They were placed in different foster homes in Chicago when they were children.

Then seven-year-old Eddie Hanzelin, who is the son of Mr Boyson’s landlord, got involved.

Eddie managed to find Ms Billadeau by searching his mother’s Facebook account with Ms Billadeau’s maiden name. He recognised the family resemblance when he saw her picture.

“Oh, my God,” Mr Boyson said when he saw and hugged Billadeau.

“You do have a sister,” Ms Billadeau said.

“You’re about the same height mom was,” Mr Boyson said.

Ms Billadeau’s daughter, Sarah Billadeau, 42, and granddaughter, Megan Billadeau, 27, both wiped away tears and smiled during the reunion.

“He didn’t have any women in his life,” Sarah said. “We’re going to get that straightened out real fast.”

Mr Boyson said he was looking forward to visiting Ms Billadeau near St Louis and meeting more family.

“I’m hoping I can go and spend a week or two,” he said. “I want to meet the whole congregation. I never knew I had a big family.”

Eddie, who enjoys messing around with his family’s iPad, said he was glad he was able to assist in making the reunion happen and that he learned about helping others at school.

“Clifford did not have any family, and family’s important,” the boy said.

Near the end of their tearful reunion Mr Boyson and Ms Billadeau presented Eddie with a $125 cheque in appreciation of his detective work.


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