CINCINNATI -- After 80 years, six months and 22 days, PJ Holland finally got the answers he was looking for.
When Holland was born just outside of Cincinnati during the Great Depression, his unwed mother decided to leave him behind and move on with her life.
Holland grew up knowing no family other than the nurses who cared for him at the hospital he was living in, according to ABC-affiliate WFAA.
At the time, orphanages in the area were filled to capacity. Holland lived in the hospital he was born in for the first few years of his life until a room opened for him at an orphanage.
"All the orphans had people visit them on 'people day' except me, because there was no relatives," Holland recalled.
At 16, he ran away from the orphanage, lied about his age and enlisted in the Army to become a paratrooper.
When service concluded, he said he was lost and had no home to return to.
He decided to return to Cincinnati where a local family offered him a room to stay in.
The Souder family accepted Holland as one of their own. Marilyn Souders, who refers to him as 'uncle,' took it upon herself to try to help Holland find his family, she told WFAA.
After tireless efforts to find information on Holland's family, Souders finally stumbled across his mother's name: Agnes Holland. After that, she hit a dead-end.
In a final attempt to help, the family had Holland do a DNA test to try to find a match.
Unexpectedly, a 31-year-old aspiring actress from New York City would be the missing link in the 80-year mystery, according to WFAA.
Cathryn Mudon took a DNA test on a whim with a friend after reading about Angelina Jolie doing it to find the breast cancer gene. Fortunately, Murdon used the same DNA company that Holland had submitted his DNA to.
It was a match.
"I logged in one morning and this big pop-up comes on and said, 'You have a first cousin match,' and I'm like, 'Oh my God! I can't believe this!'" Souders told WFAA.
Within minutes, a voice spoke through the receiver to Holland -- and after 80 years, he was finally speaking to a family member.
"I spent a long, long time wondering, 'Where are they? Who they are, and why?" Holland said. "I am who I am. And now I know who I am."
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