Real Names: George, Lena, and Emma Simon, other names unknown
Case: Lost Family
Date: September 1921
Location: Alliance, Ohio
Details: Victor Emanuel Simon grew up in Dillonvale, Ohio, during the Great Depression under the name Frank, given to him by his adoptive parents. His adoptive parents abused and nelgected him. When he was nine, he was told that his birth parents had abandoned him, which left him depressed for years. His adoptive parents also eventually abandoned him, so he was placed in several foster homes throughout the years. When he was in high school, he continued to suffer from depression; as a result, he did poorly in class. Then, he learned from a social worker that his real name was Victor Shiman and was promised that if he applied himself and stayed in school, his birth parents would be at his graduation. However, when his graduation came, his parents never showed up.
Victor wrote to several agencies and tried for several years to find his birth family, but he was unsuccessful and eventually gave up. He then got married and had five children, but never forgot his long lost family. Finally, decades later in 1984, Victor heard about an organization called "Re-unite" that helped reunite families. He decided to contact them and re-start his search for his birth family. An amateur genealogist named Rose Murphy heard Victor's story and decided to try and find his family. After looking through old county records, Rose soon found that Victor last name was actually "Simon" instead of "Shiman" which is what made his search so much more difficult before.
She found an obituary page for his mother and found that Victor was from a Hungarian immigrant family and that he had been given up for adoption as a baby in September of 1921. His mother Lenna Schmon, 37, died hours after giving birth to him. His father, Dan, 42, was confined to a wheelchair at the time due to a railroad injury that occurred just hours before Victor's birth. Since Victor already had several older living siblings, including a brother, George, and two sisters, Lenna and Emma, his father was forced to give him up to foster care.
Rose believes that Dan later went back to the foster care and asked to have his son Victor Simon returned to him, but was not because his name was placed as "Victor Shiman" in the records instead. Victor is glad now that he knows that his birth parents did not abandon him, but he still wants to find any of his family members and be reunited with them.
Extra Notes: The case was featured as a part of the January 23, 1991 episode.
Results: Solved. According to his grandson, Victor was able to locate a distant cousin in Arizona and speak with them over the phone and learned that he had several other relatives in Romania. Sadly, Victor died in 1995 without ever meeting those family members. He was 74. However, Victor felt that he practically met his goal because he was able to find "the people that he belonged to". Also, his grandson plans one day to go to Romania and meet with the long-lost relatives.