While last weekend's cannibalistic face-eating attack in Miami has horrified the nation—and sparked a number of fairly tasteless "face-eating" and zombie-related gags—one New Jersey woman recently discovered that the victim, 65 year old homeless man Ronald Poppo, is her biological father.
Janice Poppo DiBello, a 44 year old IT analyst from Morris County, was located by reporters at the New York Daily News, and told them that Poppo, a Stuyvesant High School graduate, divorced her mother, Theresa Chesler, when DiBello was two years old. DiBello has no memory of her father, who became estranged from the family immediately after the divorce. She attempted to find him through public records and the help of a police officer about a decade and a half ago, but was unable to locate him, and concluded her father was likely dead. After being contacted by the paper, DiBello had to call Chesler, who now lives in the Catskills to confirm that Poppo was in fact her biological father. "I have never heard from him," DiBello told the Daily News. "I have no idea what happened to him." Her mother remarried when she was five years old, and DiBello has since considered her stepfather to be her real father.
After his divorce from Chesler, Poppo reportedly battled addiction to alcohol and was repeatedly arrested for intoxication, public vagrancy and trespassing, among others. He had been living in Miami for nearly 30 years prior to last weekend's attack; DiBello reportedly lived in adjacent Brower County for five months in 2008, having no idea her biological father was nearby.
Poppo, who lost about 75 percent of his face in the attack, is currently in critical condition at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Florida. DiBello has not yet decided whether or not she'll visit him.