Janice Poppo DiBello (pictured left), is shocked to find out that the vagrant whose entire face was practically eaten away by a crazed cannibal on May 26th, Ronald Poppo, is in fact the dad who had abandoned her as a toddler, reports CBS News.
When the Daily News uncovered that DiBello was in fact the daughter of Ronald Poppo (pictured below), 65, the man whose face was stripped away by Rudy Eugene in a gory and horrific display of cannibalism, the woman had to call her mother for confirmation.
The 44-year-old woman told the New York Daily News, “I’m really upset because I haven’t met my father. Since I was 2 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.”
Although DiBello knows about her father’s critical condition now — he has lost 80 percent of his facial features and is only left with his chin and goatee — she is not sure she will make the trip down south from her Morris County, N.J., home to visit him at a Florida hospital.
Poppo, who attended a prestigious high school for the academically gifted, graduated with an IQ of 129. He then attended the City College of New York with aspirations of one day becoming president of the United States. He stayed the college course for two years, then dropped out in 1966, two years before his daughter was born.
According to DiBello, her mother, Theresa Chesler, divorced Poppo in 1970 and never heard from him again. DiBello and her mom moved to New Jersey at the age of 5. When Chesler remarried, her husband assumed the role of Father to her daughter.
The New Jersey resident claims that she did make an attempt to find her biological father 15 years ago, when she worked in the public records division of a police department, but hit a brick wall. Since DiBello could not find any information as to the whereabouts of Poppo, she assumed that he had passed away.
DiBello could not find her biological father because Poppo’s life had spiraled downward. He took to the streets to live a life of petty crimes and drinking. Poppo moved to Florida, and when his face was mauled by Eugene, he had been sleeping beneath an overpass.
Now DiBello has to decide whether she will visit the relative/stranger who is fighting for his life in an intensive care unit at a southern hospital. “I’m still in shock about everything,” she laments.