Woman, 44, learns she was abducted by her father as a child when mom asks to be her friend on Facebook

  • Anegla Palmer, 44, got a friend request from her mother in Croatia last month
  • All her life, Palmer believed that her mother had abandoned her at an orphanage when she was a child
  • But according to mother Helga Simecki, Palmer's father Klaus Hostnik kidnapped her
  • Hostnik evaded police by moving with his daughter 12 times in 18 years across Germany
  • Now Palmer is trying to organize a face to face meeting, fundraising money on line to pay for her mother's plane ticket to the U.S.

By Ashley Collman

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Reunited: Angela Palmer went her whole life believing that her mother abandoned her at an orphanage when she was a child, but learned the other side of the story when her mother requested to be her friend on Facebook last month

Reunited: Angela Palmer went her whole life believing that her mother abandoned her at an orphanage when she was a child, but learned the other side of the story when her mother requested to be her friend on Facebook last month

Angela Palmer got the ultimate early Christmas gift this year when she reconnected with her mother on Facebook.

The 44-year-old California woman was born in Germany where she was raised by her father, Klaus Hostnik, who told her that her mother abandoned her as a child.

But Palmer learned the other side of the story when a woman named Helga Simecki from Croatia asked to be her friend on Facebook, a week before Thanksgiving.

Like most people, Palmer ignored the friend request at first, but then Simecki sent her a message she couldn't ignore.

'She said she was my mother. I was shocked because my mother had abandoned me when I was a baby,' Palmer told Yahoo Shine.

Palmer was suspicious at first, but was soon convinced when Simecki sent her daughter's birth certificate and pictures of her as a child, answering questions only her mother would know. 

That's when the two started a conversation that would lead Palmer to learn the truth about her upbringing.

For years, Palmer believed the story that her father told her: That when her mother gained full custody, she dropped her off at an orphanage.

'Later my father took me in, and although he was an alcoholic and mentally and physically abusive, he was the only parent I knew,' she said.

Confirmed: Simecki proved she was Palmer's mother with a birth certificate and several family photos like the one above

Confirmed: Simecki proved she was Palmer's mother with a birth certificate and several family photos like the one above

Simecki says she did get full custody, because Hostnik was physically abusive but that she never willingly gave up her daughter.

'One day, under the guise of taking me to a doctor appointment - because my mother couldn't afford it - he took me and never came back,' Palmer told The Stir.

Simecki told her daughter that he kidnapped her because his parents refused to financially support him unless he had custody of his daughter.

 

While Simecki tried to get her daughter back, she had a hard time tracking her ex-husband down since he moved so often. According to Palmer, she and her dad moved 12 times in 18 years.

'What he was telling us was he was a traveling salesman, so we would have to move from area to area to get new clients and so on,' Palmer told San Diego 6, 'when in all actuality he was wanted by the German government.'

First time: San Diego's News 6 set up a Skype meeting between mother and daughter, marking the first time they've seen each other face to face

First time: San Diego's News 6 set up a Skype meeting between mother and daughter, marking the first time they've seen each other face to face

Seeing her daughter: Simecki, calling from Croatia, was clearly choked up in the call. Palmer is currently fundraising to buy a ticket for her mom to visit the U.S.

Seeing her daughter: Simecki, calling from Croatia, was clearly choked up in the call. Palmer is currently fundraising to buy a ticket for her mom to visit the U.S.

While living with her father in Europe, Palmer had contact with her mother just once - on her sixteenth birthday.

'A family member said my aunt was on the phone so I picked up and it was my mom,' she rememebrs. 'She started to explain but I hung up on her, angry that she had abandoned me.'

Palmer soon left her father to go to attend school in North Carolina at age 18 and never went back. The last she heard, he died a few years ago.

Now knowing the true reason behind her mother's separation, Palmer is working on organizing a face to face meeting. She has set up a fundraising campaign on Fundly, hoping to get 4,000 dollars to bring her mother to the U.S. for a visit. As of Saturday evening, the campaign had raised 3,310 of the goal.

'There's so much catching up to do and so much that needs to be filled in. Until last Friday [Nov. 15], I had no family. Now I have a mother… a big extended family. I don't know how to explain it. It just makes for a nice holiday,' Palmer said. 

The comments below have not been moderated.

How sad this has taken so long - If only she hadn't hung up on her mother on 16th birthday....

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Since when does a ticket from Croatia to US cost $4000? ...... what is to stop her from going over there?... does the 44 year old not have any holiday money??? It is not up to others to pay for her fairytale ending.

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Little further to US than UK. 4k sounds about right for a round trip ticket. Like a lot of people in the US Ms Palmer may have been struck down by the Obamanation that is our government.

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shut up, you moaning loud mouth

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Can't belelieve that one of those cheesy American morning shoe hasn't jumped on the bandwagon and flown the. Old lady to the States for an on screen reunion. Just the ticket for all that tears, cheery, Christmas crap!

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Ba Humbug!

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'Mum', you mean, MailOnline.

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Why does it matter ?

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In America it is Mom.

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Wonderful story...a Mom' s love for her children. Hope they now never get seperated again...

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$4000 for a flight? Is the mother travelling first class by any chance?

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Round trip! to the USA not to the UK.

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Mom?

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The daughter grew up in America. American English is the language she speaks. In America it is usually Mom or Mother never Mum. Give your chauvinism a rest.

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Why does it matter? Get your nose out of the air.

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Am I the only who's kinda sick of everyone asking for Internet handouts every single time they want to do something? What happened to saving up and paying for it yourself? - TheShore, Tampa, United States Exactly what I was thinking. I'm glad someone else thinks the same

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I feel the same way. Im glad for them but save up yourselfs

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cheapskates

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I want to know why when a father takes his child away from a parent its "abduction" but when a mother does it "it was probably best for the child". Why is the word of this mother being taken at face value not the man cannot defend himself.

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did you even read the article,or just the headlines and photo captions??? i guess because the daughter herself said the father was an alcoholic who abused her mentally and physically. she left at 18 and escaped from the wretched man. that's why.

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Like Raven said, plus, HE WAS WANTED BY GERMAN AUTHORITIES AND WAS ON THE RUN. Sorry for the "shouting," but reading comprehension doesn't seem to be one of your strong suits, Glynn.

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I am happy for the pair of them but please don't make your story go public and try and fundraise for a free ticket ...

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