The Colonel From Trieste: A Kansas City Private Investigator True Story Part 1

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What would you do if one of your close relatives told you a long held family secret on their death bed?  Blogger Local Kansas City spoke with Kansas City private investigator Doug Pearson of Act Now Investigations, to find out what one local woman did when faced with this life altering information.  The story spans generations, crosses an ocean and takes root on the battlefields of World War II.  How and why did two star crossed lovers turn their backs on each other to go on living separate lives?

1_l.20120712154522In 1990 Kay Hoflander began a quest to find her biological father.  She never expected that when she went to speak with a dying relative that year, the relative would inform her that the father she had known her whole life was not actually her biological father.  Kay’s relative gave her a letter from her mother to her biological father.  This ignited a burning desire inside of Kay to learn the truth about her father.  When Kay began her quest she decided to not tell her mother.  She wanted to find her father without her her help and was initially worried about how she might respond emotionally to Kay knowing the secret.  When I spoke with Kay she told me that she had tried to research the information herself but came up empty handed.  Keep in mind that in 1990 the Internet was still in it’s infancy and had a small amount of catalogued information on it.  All investigative work had to be done researching through libraries and public records.  As Kay forged on in her quest to shed light on her paternal origins she became exhausted in her quest.  Kay’s sister eventually told her that she should track down a colleague’s son, who ran a Kansas City Private Investigation firm.  Kay decided to give the licensed private investigator a shot figuring she had nothing but time to loose. That is how Kay Hoflander and Doug Pearson began to work together for the next 7 years.

When Kay came to the Kansas City private investigator, she brought with her only a couple of clues.  The clues where contained inside the letter her family gave her.  The letter was from Kay’s mother Ruth, to her mother’s parents and sister.  The letter was about a man who had been stationed in Trieste, Italy during WWII.  The letters divulged the last name of the man and that the man was a colonel. He had a dog and was shot or injured in the hip at some point.  Kay would later go on to find out that her father and mother met somewhere in Italy, around the Morgan Line during WWII.  She learned that the “Colonel”, as his friends and colleagues referred to him, met her mother Ruth while she was working as a Captain in the Red Cross, stationed out of Canale, Italy.  Times were tumultuous and the two got quickly caught up in an affair.  Kay gathered from talking with the Colonel that it was societal pressures and judgements that ultimately lead to them pretend their affair never happened.  Society at the time didn’t think much of women bearing children out of wedlock and the Colonel’s career would have been over.

In the next installment of this story we will learn about how Doug Pearson got his family involved in the search for Kay’s father, the Colonel.  Check back with your Kansas City blog to see how the story unfolds.




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