At-home DNA test reunites father and daughter

Aug 13, 2019, 11:37 AM | Updated: 12:56 pm
She knew her father was out there somewhere, but it wasn't until she did an at-home DNA test all the answers she'd been searching for were answered in the most unexpected way. Photo: KCTV
Originally Published: 13 AUG 19 11:30 ET

Click here for updates on this story

Kansas City, MO (KCTV) — At-home DNA testing has exploded over the last few years.

You can find out everything from what countries your ancestors came from to what you’re genetically predisposed to, to what breeds the family mutt is made of.

But for some, the tests unlock questions they’ve been trying to answer their whole lives.

More than 26 million people have submitted their DNA to companies like 23 and Me and Ancestry.

However, for one local woman, it was about much more than just curiosity, and the answers she found changed the lives of two people forever.

“To me, just knowing the truth is important,” said Tamatha Steinwachs who always knew her father was out there somewhere.

“I was always looking for my father,” Steinwachs said.

She submitted her DNA to 23 and Me and found her half-brother, Nathan, so she called him on the phone.

The man who answered the call? Charles Messer. And were they ever in for a surprise.

“At that point, I asked if he was Nathan’s biological father or stepfather, and he said his biological. So I said, ‘Well, I think I need to speak to you. I think that you are my dad,’” Steinwachs said.

After decades of questions, Steinwachs had answers.

“It was pretty quick. It was from May 5 to May 7 that I found from Nathan being a half-brother to him being my dad,” she said.

“It took a little bit to get used to that idea,” Messer said.

“Unless you’ve lived through this, you have no idea what it feels like to not know who your dad is, and to just be daddy’s little girl,” added Steinwachs.

Messer lives in Florida but was born and raised in Gardner, Kansas.

It just so happened he was heading to the metro for a class reunion. It was a trip that would include much more than meeting up with his old high school buddies.

“That was the first time we met … right at the front door of this establishment,” Messer said of the Blue Springs Applebees where the two sat down with KCTV5 News.

It was a moment that’s tough to put words to.

“Well, she was speechless for a change,” Messer said.

“I couldn’t catch my breath, and I’m not usually that emotional of a person, but I cried like a baby for maybe 30 minutes. I couldn’t catch my breath! And he just gave me a big bear hug. It was great. It was amazing,” Steinwachs said.

Since then, the two have met up a couple of times — both in Kansas City and in Florida — making up for lost time.

“I got to meet all his friends, got to be at his house … so we spent Father’s Day … it was my first Father’s Day that I got to spend with my father, so it was great,” Steinwachs said.

The timing, in its own way, was perfect.

Steinwachs’ daughter was weeks away from getting married. Not only would Messer be able to see his granddaughter get married, he’d get to have a long overdue father-daughter dance with Steinwachs.

“We practiced while we were in Florida, because we never danced together … who knows what that was going to look like?” joked Steinwachs.

“We’re going to do a real simple box step,” Messer said.

And while they can’t get back what they lost all those years ago, they talk every day.

They are now focused on the future and making new memories that will last a lifetime.

“I’m glad she found me … couldn’t ask for a better daughter,” Messer said.

The father-daughter duo say if there’s one thing they want people to take away from sharing their story it’s that if you’ve ever hesitated on finding family through these DNA tests, don’t. They say you never know what you’re missing.

™ & © 2019 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team. here.

Today’s Top Stories

All News

Gov. Cox Ukraine State of the Union...
Mark Jones

Cox announces full recommendations for fiscal year 2024 budget

The full recommendations for the fiscal year 2024 budget were announced Friday by Gov. Spencer Cox and Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson.
20 hours ago
Salt Lake City Police took a 44-year-old man into custody on Wednesday in connection to the burglar...
KSL NewsRadio staff writer

S.L. County D.A. declines to charge two officers in shooting, arrest

An ICE agent and Herriman City police detective were the subjects in D.A. Sim Gill's investigation. Gill will charge neither of the officers.
20 hours ago
Screen shot....
Mark Jones

Two-vehicle crash on westbound I-80 creates heavy delays

Traffic has come to a near stop on westbound I-80 Friday evening due to a traffic accident.
20 hours ago
Cottonwood Heights officials have begun the process of removing several stop signs in a neighborhoo...
Simone Seikaly

Here’s why some stop signs will be removed in Cottonwood Heights

Several stop signs in a Cottonwood Heights neighborhood were bagged and will be removed by the end of the year.
20 hours ago
A car driving on snowy road...
Devin Oldroyd

Mostly mountain snow expected this weekend through next week

SALT LAKE CITY — More wind, rain and snow are expected to hit the Beehive State over the next few days. To start, the National Weather Service reported a Winter Weather Advisory for the mountains north of I-80 today.  ❄A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for the northern mountains north of I-80 for much […]
20 hours ago
police, lights, siren, emergency, law, officer, flashing, crime, cops, patrol, arrest, lock, speedi...
Chandler Holt

Speeder escapes after striking police vehicle

The driver entered the freeway and sped up to evade police. The suspect struck a Layton City officers vehicle before taking off again.
20 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 game day snacks for the whole family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
At-home DNA test reunites father and daughter