Unsolved Mysteries Wiki

Harry Young

Real Name: Kathleen Mary Young
Case: Lost Sister
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Date: July 1943


Details: In 1943, Army Private Harry A. Young, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was killed in action during WWII. He left behind a wife and two young sons. In 1980, when his son Albert and granddaughter Laura Anderson were researching the family history, they came across an obituary for Harry. However, the information seemed to be for a different person; the obituary mentioned a different address for Harry, did not mention his two sons, but instead stated that he was survived by a two-month-old daughter named Kathleen. At first, Albert assumed that it was a printing error. As he began researching, however, he soon uncovered a family secret.

Albert learned that in 1941, after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Harry tried to enlist to join the army. However, Harry had already served six years in the Marine Corps. At age 30, and with a family to support, Harry needed his wife Laura's signature to enlist. Laura refused; Harry walked out that day and did not return. He had no idea that Laura was pregnant with their second child, Jim. Four months later, with forged documents, Harry enlisted in the army and was sent overseas to fight in the African Campaign. After he arrived in Africa, he finally told Laura what he had done.
On October 24, 1943, Laura received the tragic news that Harry had been killed in action. A few days later, the local office of the Veteran's Administration uncovered a serious problem: Harry Young had been survived by two wives.  It was later discovered that after he left Laura, Harry began living with another woman named Estela in a town about ten miles away. After Harry's death, Estela filed for benefits using Laura's name. Laura eventually was able to prove that she and Harry had never divorced, so she was able to receive benefits.
For forty years, Harry's sons knew almost nothing about Harry and Estela's relationship. Then, in 1992, a letter surfaced; it was written by Estela to Harry's parents. The letter was written one day after Harry was reported deceased. Estela stated that she knew that Harry was married, but they still lived together and loved each other. Estela mentions how she and Harry had a three-month-old daughter, Kathleen Mary Young, born on July 29, 1943. After receiving no reply to her letter, Estela paid a surprise visit to Harry's parents, bringing Kathleen with her. However, they wanted nothing to do with Estela or Kathleen. Estela and Kathleen have had no contact with the Young family since then. Albert and Jim are now searching for their long-lost half-sister, Kathleen.

Young family reunited

Extra Notes: This segment was featured as part of the December 2, 1992 episode.
Results: Solved. Kathleen Young-Alberti watched the broadcast and was soon put in contact with her half-brothers. On September 19, 1993, Kathleen and her family traveled to Stratford, New Jersey where they were reunited with Albert, Jim, and their families.
Links: None