JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (CBS Atlanta) – After 11 years of wondering who he really was, Benjamin Kyle now knows his true identity.
“Sometimes, the last ten years has been just hell,” Kyle told WJXT-TV. “I think initially I was just stunned, literally stunned. I was not functioning. I couldn’t even talk about it.”
Kyle was found sunburned, beaten and left for dead near a dumpster outside a Savanna Burger King.
“I never really talked about the bad times. And there were some bad times,” Kyle admitted. “I never talked to people about it because I never thought I had the right to impose my problems on them. I don’t know. Ten years ago, if I had known I’d have to go through the past ten years, I’d have just made up a Social Security number in the hospital.”
He learned his real history with the help of a genetic genealogist.
“The methodology we used to solve the Benjamin Kyle case was actually developed for adoption searches,” explained CeCe Moore. “For people who wanted to ID their birth families. It’s applicable to lost identity as well.”
Moore’s team compared Kyle’s DNA to records in databases across the country. After two-and-a-half years, they scored a hit.
“In fact, it really amazes me that law enforcement didn’t solve this sooner,” Moore comlained. “We had his birth date. We had his home state. We had his family’s religion. How could this not have been solved? It took all this time, and thanks to genetic genealogy and DNA detective work, he finally has what should have been his for years.”
For now, Kyle is keeping the information to himself. Though he is planning a reunion in the near future.
“Evidently, I left Indiana in ’76 and they have not seen me since then,” he said. “Of course we haven’t been in communication. They thought I was dead.”