More Than Just Luck

The amazing CeCe Moore, a genetic genealogist and 23andMe Ancestry Ambassador, has done it again, solving a familyCeCephoto mystery and helping a woman connect with her biological mother for the first time.

“DNA,” Moore told the Orange County Register, “was the only way to solve this.”

The story, which appeared in the Orange County Register, generated a lot of questions and some strong reactions. CeCe and her team had helped Kayla Tovo, a 27 year-old mother and US Army veteran, solve the mystery of her birth. Kayla was just a few hours old when a janitor found her wrapped in a towel in a milk crate left in the back of an Alpha Beta grocery store.

Her story could have ended in tragedy if not for being adopted by a wonderful loving mother and growing up in a supportive home. But after having children of her own, and a brush with death in Afghanistan, Kayla decided to try in earnest to find the woman who abandoned her. She wanted to know why. A friend connected her to CeCe. Kayla then tested with 23andMe and found a first cousin once removed, providing her the pivotal lead to connect her to her biological family.

“I received questions from all over social media on this story,” CeCe told us. “(Kayla) was lucky, and some have complained they don’t have matches that close.”

But  as the database grows, so too does the possibility for new and closer matches, she said.

“New matches are coming in all the time and the newer ones are more likely to respond and share family tree information than the older matches,” CeCe said.

Check out Kayla’s story.


  • I’m so thankful for this website! I was adopted at birth in 1984. I knew nothing of my biological family or how to contact them. I ordered the kit to try and find out about my heritage and genetic markers to look out for in regards to my family medical history. After a year and a half of no close relative matches, I finally got an email saying 23andme found my 1st cousin. I immediately contacted her and asked if he had an aunt or uncle that gave up a child for adoption, and she came back with my exact birthday and location of birth. From there, I began emailing her aunt Lydia, which turned out to be my biological mom! My mom is coming to see me next week to meet me for the first time since I was born, and I couldn’t be more excited. I know this might not happen for everyone, but I am so thankful to 23andme for making this experience even possible. Technology and science is so crazy these days, and I thank you guys for being on the cutting edge and making this accessible to the public!

    • 23blog

      What a great story. Thanks for sharing Tony.

  • patriciaannebielby

    I think it would be great if 23 and me offered free dna comparisons for unidentified persons, both living and deceased. Who would I have to talk to about this?

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