By LULI ORTIZ, WPEC
LOXAHATCHEE, Fla. (CIRCA via WPEC) — After seven decades apart, a Loxahatchee, Florida, grandfather recently met the brother he never knew he had.
Anthony Granito says he finally found was he was looking for at 73 years old: a biological relative.
A simple online DNA test found that Granito has a biological brother, John DiPietro, who lives in Worcester, Massachusetts.
"It's the best thing that has ever happened, besides my kids being born."
They met face to face for the first time at a restaurant in Vero Beach, Florida, last Sunday. Granito’s daughter-in-law coordinated with DiPietro for the surprise meeting that was 70 years in the making.
"They got me, they really got me," Granito said outside his home.
The special moment was captured on cellphone video.
A surprise of a lifetime: A Loxahatchee grandfather meets the brother he never knew he had after 70 yrs apart, thx to a DNA test. In the vid, you see the moment he realizes the man in yellow sitting next to him at a restaurant isn’t a random stranger, it’s his brother! 🤣 @CBS12 pic.twitter.com/S68OVzTBOQ— Luli Ortiz (@LuliOrtizTV) January 2, 2019
"It's the best thing that has ever happened, besides my kids being born," he said. "We went to the house, took pictures, traded stories."
Granito says he was adopted when he was 4 months old. His adopted parents were tight-lipped about his past, and he says it seemed almost impossible to trace his biological family. He even hired a private investigator to find them, but to no avail.
Then, in November 2017, he submitted his DNA to Ancestry.com.
"My son Eric got it for me because I tried three times in the past 30 years," he said. "They adopted me through the church and they won't give you any information."
A match popped up.
On Tuesday, Circa sister station WPEC-TV was there when Granito spoke to DiPietro through FaceTime.
"Like Anthony said, it was a hole in his heart for all those years knowing that there was someone else out there, but never had a chance," DiPietro said. "Because of technology, we’re able to make it happen."
Granito wants others out there who are searching for answers to never give up.
"Go to Ancestry.com, or any of the DNA people; they can find everything, they did for me," he said.
This is only the beginning for Granito.
He found out he has four additional half-brothers and -sisters in Maryland and Massachusetts.
His New Year’s resolution is to visit them.