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Daughter shares first text exchange with dad she thought was dead for 31 years

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A mum who thought her dad had been dead for more than 30 years claims to have discovered he is alive after tracking him down on social media.

Sharnee Butler, from Christchurch, New Zealand, posted her first-ever text message exchange with him to TikTok.

The 31-year-old always thought deep down he was still alive, it was just a question of trying to find him.

All Sharnee knew was that his name was Noel, he was from the UK and he was ‘sports mad’.

‘I grew up thinking he was dead, when I was old enough, I knew something wasn’t right, and nobody had answers,’ she told FEMAIL.

‘I had so many questions but there was never any answers.’

She put out the word she was looking for her dad with all the details she knew on online forums and TV shows ‘several times’ but had no luck. 

After years of searching, she still never gave up on her mission to try and track down her dad.


When she sent a ‘Noel’ a message on social media one day after searching his name alongside sports, a long text exchange resulted in some surprise answers.

‘His social media was sports, sports, sports, and I also saw he lived here in Christchurch back in 1990-1991 and moved back to the UK. So that’s when I decided to just send that man a message,’ she said.

She did not drop the bombshell on Noel straight away and he revealed he had lived in Christchurch for a time in the early nineties and was much older than her. 

‘This is going to sound super odd. And very personal but I need to ask. When you were living here in Christchurch/New Zealand, did you sleep with any women?’ Sharnee boldly asked. 

‘My mother who I deeply and dearly love has given me your name so I’ve done years and years of research and you fit all these descriptions…I’m so very sorry that this all seems very strange.’ 

Noel, from Wales, said he thought the questions were a bit personal but admitted the information was ‘very intriguing’. 

Sharnee gave more details and said her mum ‘stuck with the same description’ of her dad all her life, telling her he went back to the UK for a football game and she never heard anything back.

 ‘It’s a wee bit uncanny but I’m not writing things out,’ Noel replied and asked how on earth Sharnee found him.

It was then that Noel gave a clue that Sharnee was closer than ever to finding her long-lost dad.

Asking if her mum’s name was Dale, he added: ‘So do you really think I could be your dad?’

‘This is all so so crazy, so so crazy. I’m, shaking, I’m crying. I’ve been waiting for this moment for a very long time. Yes Dale is my mum! Holy moly,’ she wrote back. 

Noel said he remembered Dale ‘for sure’ as they would often ‘bump into each other’ on nights out but weren’t a couple. 

He also remembered her older brother Mykal and pointed out Sharnee could be half-Welsh. 

‘Holy crap this is insane. Did you have any idea about me at all?’ Sharnee asked before Noel sent her an old photo of him while he was in Wellington in 1991. 

‘No I didn’t Sharnee. I’m so so sorry,’ Noel responded.  

The video has been viewed millions of times on TikTok with lots of shocked comments.

After it went viral, Sharnee started a fundraiser so she can meet her ‘potential dad’ in Wales and do a DNA test to confirm their suspicions.

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