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Reality Show Links Dad and Daughter after Mother trys to destroy relationship
Reality Show Links Woman to Dad
Posted on Apr 3, 2009
Her parents divorced before she was six. She stayed with her mother who did
everything she could to convince Alexia O'Malley that her father didn't care
about her and that she didn't want to know him. Alexia's mother removed all
traces of her father from the house. Over the years, she prevented any
contact between father and daughter, even to the extent of returning all his
cards and letters.
But that didn't stop Alexia from wanting her father. So when she turned 18,
she moved out of her mother's Pocono, Pennsylvania house and in with her
boyfriend. She also started trying to find her dad whose last name she
didn't even know. Stymied in her own efforts, she contacted the TV reality
show "The Locator" whose motto is "You can't find peace until you find all
Alexia told show personnel "I'm looking for my dad. I haven't seen him
since I was six. My mom hides him from me and doesn't talk to me about him.
It's not fair to me."
The show's investigators located Alexia's dad, John Keurerleber, an hour
away in New Jersey and they were reunited with tears and hugs.
It's another story of a mother determined to separate a father from his
child and the child from her father. Why she did it, we'll probably never
know, but the mother's desire for exclusive contact with- and control over-
the child is clear. Unlike so many of these stories, though, this one looks
like it has a happy ending. Read about it below (Pocono Record, 3/28/09).
Reality show reunites Pocono woman with biological father
By AL ZAGOFSKY
For the Pocono Record
March 28, 2009
A Pocono Summit woman was reunited with her biological father by Troy Dunn
of the TV reality series "The Locator."
The reunion took place in Jim Thorpe last November and airs on the WE cable
channel at 9 p.m. today.
On "The Locator," host Dunn reunites families, lost loved ones and best
friends. The show's tag line is "You can't find peace until you find all the
This episode, "A Daughter's Mission," began as a request from a woman
identified as Alexia O'Malley, 18. Her parents divorced before her sixth
birthday and - except for a brief period of joint custody, she hadn't seen
or heard from her father since.
It was a rocky divorce and when Alexia's mother remarried, all references to
Alexia's father were removed, his name was never mentioned, and his cards
and letters were returned.
"His face was always blurry," Alexia said. "I feel like I was abandoned and
I want to know why he did it."
Her mom was always negative whenever her father was mentioned. She told
Alexia that she would not want to meet her father.
At the offices of "The Locator," producers were touched by the story but
wondered if her father actually was trouble and if, at 18, Alexia was mature
enough to deal with such a situation.
Dunn met with Alexia.
"I'm looking for my dad," she said. "I haven't seen him since I was 6. My
mom hides him from me and doesn't talk to me about him. It's not fair to
Alexia added, "I wonder what has happened to him and what happened between
my mom and dad that stopped him from seeing me."
When Alexia started her first job, she obtained her birth certificate and
learned that her birth name was Alexia Keuerleber, daughter of John
Keuerleber. She had been raised believing her last name was the same as her
When she reached 18, Alexia moved out from her mother's house and went to
live with her boyfriend's family. She was ready to search for her father and
her mother couldn't stop her.
Using the information from Alexia's birth certificate and tracing the name
in a search through public records, "The Locator" staff quickly found John
Keuerleber living in New Jersey, just an hour away from Alexia.
"The Locator" staff arranged for Dunn to meet Alexia and her boyfriend,
Zack, at the Carbon County Cultural Project building in Jim Thorpe.
There, Dunn told Alexia that he located her father and the reunion took
place with hugs and tears. The meeting and the long talk that followed were
videotaped by a crew of 10.
"It is the greatest job in the world," said Tiffany Reis, vice president of
Asylum Entertainment, the company that films the series. "We get to help
people. That's the greatest gift you can get."
"I feel great about it when our content is good like this because it is
really heartfelt for the family," said producer Kate Turnipseed.
"Whenever Troy reunites people, I always cry. I know what it feels like to
miss somebody. Just that this girl was missing her father and got to meet
him. It was beautiful."
"The Locator" series evolved from Troy Dunn's personal experience. In 1990,
Troy helped his own mother, who was adopted as a baby, locate her biological
family. That event inspired Dunn to build an organization to help people
reunite with long-lost friends and family members.
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