Stranger helps reunite father, daughter in Hemet

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A father and daughter were reunited in Hemet nearly three decades after they last saw each other.

Grant Doucette and his daughter, Bailey Paisley, are making up for lost time. She was 3 years old when he last saw her.

"I've been praying for this," Doucette said.

It was a prayer that became more urgent after he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. But he wasn't the only one looking to reconnect.

"I've known he was homeless for a long time. I just didn't have a location for him to track him down," Paisley said.

Through the years, Paisley kept tabs on her dad through mugshots. He had been arrested in downtown Tampa, Florida, several times for trespassing offenses. But a month ago, she became concerned.

"I can't find anything new on him so I started calling mortuaries," she said.

She didn't know it, but he was in California looking for her when fate stepped in.

"This lady comes up to me, and we started talking and I started explaining to her about Bailey," Doucette said.

The woman he spoke to was Eliza Bautista. She took a picture and posted his story to a community Facebook page. She also sent a message to Paisley.

"She had the picture of him sitting at the bench, and I went, 'Oh my gosh, that's my dad,'" Paisley said.

Paisley thought her father was in Riverside then quickly realized he was at a Pomona park.

"I ended up driving down there, and I just got out of the car and gave him a big hug," Paisley said.

They now have 27 years of catching up to do.

"It's amazing to me that one person took time out of her own life to go talk to somebody," Paisley said in tears.

The 57-year-old Doucette is now in remission and hopes to build a relationship with his daughter, who is engaged and is hoping he can walk her down the aisle.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help with Doucette's medical costs:

Related Topics:
societyfamilyhomelessHemetRiverside County
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