Part #7--A song: He Knows My Name
Murdered Detroit toddler Tashona Holmes will be forgotten

Part #8--I finally found my dad-Claude Thorp-in Punta Gorda, FL

I was in my early twenties and working as a newspaper reporter at the State Capitol in Lansing.  While I was at the city library, I engaged in a habit that I developed as a youngster.  I thumbed through phone books of various cities looking for my father's name--Claude H. Thorp.

It was habit.  I never expected to find anything, so you can imagine my surprise when I found the name Claude H. Thorp in the St. Paul, MN phonebook.  My heart stopped.  I couldn't believe there would be two guys with the same name.  But, how do you check it out.  I remember the excitement I felt.  My hands were almost shaking.  It was potentially the end of a lifelong search for my dad.

My mom always claimed that he ran away from us voluntarily.  Some had suggested the possibility of amnesia.  I chose to believe that he left because his memory shut off.

As long as I can remember, from being really small, I prayed to God to "Please bring me a message from my Daddy."  I got to a certain point where I just stopped asking.  And, here I was with the possibility that I might have an answer.

I faced the dilemma of what I should tell my mother.  I did not want to be disloyal to her.  No way.  She was the one that was always there for me.  I never had any doubt about her love for me.  I could always count on her.  Of course, she was totally supportive of any effort I made to find him.

Then I called a couple of friends to help me to verify that it was my father in St. Paul.