Estranged Daughter Turned Private Investigator Finds her Dad After Three Decades


After three attempts to find her father in New York and a year-long criminal justice program in Puerto Rico, Eliza Perez located her dad, a semiretired itinerant musician who plays in jazz clubs on weekends, and she’s temporarily living with him in Queens. Judging by the sappy feeling that sets in when reading the Daily News article and our curiosity for more emotional details, we estimate that Eliza’s offer for a movie deal should arrive any day now. Angelina Jolie would be SO good as the bad-ass investigator/estranged daughter.

Though the last few months have been both a happy ending and a new beginning, 29 years ago, the Perez family dissolved in a tragic situation. Eliza’s mother, Rosa Perez, moved her two children to Puerto Rico after splitting with Louis Perez, Eliza’s father, who had a violent post-traumatic stress flashback from the three years he spent working in a North Carolina armory during the Vietnam War. Louis stabbed his wife during the nightmarish episode, and, though she recovered, they were never able to resolve their relationship.

Even so, Eliza wanted to resolve her own relationship with her father, but after losing his family, he moved often, and his name is Louis Perez, in New York, so, really, this wasn’t a simple task.

“I started thinking I was never going to find him, or I was going to find him dead,” Eliza told the Daily News. And her father said, “Sometimes now I sit here, and I look at her, and I’m shocked. It took a little while to sink in.”

Alright, everyone, go hug a dad. This is too much.