It was a tearful moment when a homeless man reunited with his daughters for the first time in two decades.
Jose Lopez last saw his daughters when they were just kids, 10 and 17, but lost touch with them when he and their mother separated. He moved from New Jersey to Florida and reconnected with them a few years back, but after he suffered a series of strokes, they lost touch again.
That is, until now.
“For me, I was that little girl,” said Angela Viviani, Lopez’s youngest daughter, of when she last saw her dad.
Lopez, 61, didn’t want to give up on seeing his kids again, so he recently traveled back to Bradley Beach, New Jersey, to try to find them. He said he felt empty without them.
When a New Jersey Transit police officer saw Lopez in the train station at Secaucus Junction on his way, he asked if he needed help, to which Lopez said "yes." A crisis outreach officer then stepped in to help.
“Lopez was intent on finding family. I wanted to help him do that. I knew medical issues were going on," said Officer Sean Pfeifer. “Yes, I could have sent him down to Bradley Beach alone [but] knew wasn't right option wanted to make every effort because I didn't want him out on street.”
Pfeifer was able to help contact possible family members until he located Viviani and left her a voice message.
“I was actually in parking lot, checked voicemail, [thought], 'Is this a scam or something?'” Viviani said.
Pfeifer was there recording when Lopez reunited with his two daughters and met his grandkids.
“I'm thinking I'm in heaven. I've got my two best girls,” Lopez said about being back with his daughters.