Jun 01, 2012 03:02 PM EDT
The long-lost daughter of the 65-year-old victim who was savagely attacked and had 75 percent of his face eaten off by Rudy Eugene last Saturday has revealed that she thought her father was dead. 44-year-old Janice Poppo DiBello and her mother were abandoned by Ronald Poppo when she was only two years old.
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DiBello, from New Jersey, told New York Daily News: "I'm really upset because I haven't met my father. Since I was two-years-old, him and my mom got divorced and there was no .. like how normal divorces are, where you see your father. Nobody ever heard anything from him, so I've never met him. I didn't know if he was alive or dead."
DiBello's mother Theresa Chesler confirmed to the Daily News that Poppo is the man she married. "We were divorced, probably in 1970. And nobody's heard from him since then,' she said. 'I've got nothing more to say."
Poppo's daughter said that she is in shock about everything that's happened to her father. "It was a complete shock, because like I said, I've never had a relationship with my biological father. I have never heard from him. I have no idea what happened to him... "I'm still in shock about everything."
Police records show that Ronald Poppo was arrested 24 times and that he had been living in Florida for over 30 years. Poppo had attended the prestigious elite Stuyvesant High School in Lower Manhattan. According to Miami Herald, the school's records show that he had an IQ of 129.
His sister, and now his ex-wife and daughter, all believed that he was dead after having no contact with him for over three decades. No one knows what led Poppo to go from being a star student at the elite school, to having a wife and child, and ending up on the streets. Janice said she tried tracking down her father about 15 years ago but found nothing so assumed that he was dead.
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