It’s one thing to barely know your dad. It’s another to grow up with the entirely wrong impression of him.
The last time Kristene Feldhaus saw her dad, she was three. In the 31 years since, her family has thought the worst of him, namely that he was a criminal on the lam.
“I knew he had to be dead or in prison, he couldn’t just be out there after all these years,” Kristene told the Sacramento Bee.
Unfortunately, she was right about her dad no longer being alive. But it must have been gratifying to discover why.
“He allegedly robbed a bank,” Feldhaus said. “I came under the impression as his daughter that he did do it because of him leaving.”
After some computer sleuthing and some help from her dad’s DNA, Kristine discovered that he didn’t abandon the family to escape the law. Instead, James Wray Miller was the legendary ‘Tower Bridge Hero,’ a unidentified man who dove into the water to attempt to rescue the passengers of a truck that went off the bridge.
“We were just watching … the bridge goes up and the car goes off,” D.J. Enzminger told The Bee at the time of the accident, in 1987. “My wife and I were at the bow of the boat and here comes this car sailing right out into the river.”
He also saw a man dive in after the people, and he never resurfaced. 30 years later, it was finally revealed that the man was Kristene Feldhaus’s long-lost father.
She may not have her father, but at least now she has the truth: he was a hero.
Watch the video via CBS Sacramento: