Officer Pfeifer’s effort to reunite Mr. Lopez with his family has captured the hearts and attention of the entire nation! This uplifting story highlights the great work Officer Pfeifer and the New Jersey Transit Police Department do every day. https://t.co/PTsXHhapwA pic.twitter.com/kvCD3rrcQK— NJ TRANSIT (@NJTRANSIT) August 25, 2019
It had been 24 years since this homeless man had seen his two daughters—but thanks to some compassionate police officers, he was finally reunited with his family last week.
61-year-old José Lopez lost contact with his family after he moved to Miami, Florida and suffered a series of strokes which left him homeless.
Earlier this month, he spent all of the money in his social security account so he could finally travel to New Jersey to try and find his family.
Upon arriving at Secaucus Junction, however, Lopez’s mental health issues left him unable to recall very much information about the whereabouts of his daughters; he only knew that their location involved Bradley Beach.
Thankfully, he was soon discovered by a crisis outreach staffer and brought to the NJ Transit Police Department for help.
After Lopez explained his predicament, NJ Transit Officer Sean Pfeifer took it upon himself to track down the man’s family.
Pfeifer called more than two dozen different phone numbers in the Bradley Beach area until, as fate would have it, he ended up leaving a voicemail on the answering machine of Lopez’s daughter. She later returned Pfeifer’s call and arranged for her and her sister to reunite with their long-lost father.
Pfeifer then paid for Lopez to get a shave, haircut, and new clothes before he was finally brought face-to-face with his family—and the reunion was definitely a happy one.
A tearful, heartwarming reunion! NJ Transit Police reunite a homeless man with his family after 24 years!! Jose Lopez not only got to hug his daughters, he met his grandkids for the first time! Lopez was given a shave and a haircut, plus new clothes for the big reunion moment. pic.twitter.com/puIYKRp2QW— NJ TRANSIT (@NJTRANSIT) August 20, 2019
Not only did Lopez get to see his daughters again, he also got to meet the grandkids he never knew he had.
“I’m thinking I’m in heaven,” he later told reporters. “I got my two best girls [back].”
Lopez is now being cared for by his doting daughters until they can find him permanent housing close to their home. Additionally, police officers have helped to enroll him in a mental health program for extra support.
(WATCH the emotional interview below—OR for viewers outside the USA, click here to see the video on the CBS website)
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