US siblings reunite thanks to Facebook

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) - An man has been reunited with his sister 65 years after the siblings were separated in foster care, thanks to a 7-year-old friend who searched Facebook.

66-year-old Clifford Boyson of Davenport, Iowa, met his sister Betty Billadeau, 70, in person on Saturday. Mrs Billadeau drove up from her home in Florissant, Missouri, with her daughter and granddaughter for the reunion at a hotel in Davenport.

The two siblings tried to find each other for years without success. They were placed in different foster homes in Chicago when they were children.

Then 7-year-old Eddie Hanzelin, who is the son of Mr Boyson's landlord, got involved.

He managed to find Mrs Billadeau by searching his mom's Facebook account with Mrs Billadeau's maiden name. He recognised the family resemblance when he saw her picture.

"Oh, my God," Mr Boyson said when he saw and hugged his sister.

"You do have a sister," said Mrs Billadeau.

"You're about the same height Mom was," he replied.

Mrs Billadeau's daughter Sarah Billadeau, 42, and granddaughter Megan Billadeau, 27, both wiped away tears and smiled during the reunion.

"He didn't have any women in his life," sajd Mrs Billadeau's daughter. "We're going to get that straightened out real fast."

Mr Boyson said he was looking forward to visiting Mrs Billadeau near St. Louis and meeting more family.

"I'm hoping I can go and spend a week or two," he said. "I want to meet the whole congregation. I never knew I had a big family."

Eddie, who enjoys messing around with his family's iPad, said he was glad he was able to assist in making the reunion happen and that he learned about helping others at school.

"Clifford did not have any family, and family's important," the boy said.

Near the end of their tearful reunion, the siblings presented Eddie with a US$125 (S$153) check in appreciation of his detective work.