Philadelphia best friends, Latoya Wimberly and Ashley Thomas turn out to be biological sisters after chance viewing of photos led to DNA testing enquiry.
Two best friends who met in middle school 17 years ago have found out that they are actually sisters.
Ashley’s late mom’s best friend then commented that she had previously known Latoya’s dad Kenneth Wimberly, 48, and the two friends probed him on his past.
That resulted in Latoya asking her father to take a DNA test after he realized he had had a brief relationship with Ashley’s mother Michelle.
‘Ashley’s mom’s best friend told her she had no idea my dad was Kenny,’ Wimberly said.
‘She said she and Ashley’s mom used to hang around him back when they were young. When Ashley told me, I knew something didn’t click. So I asked her to send me a picture of her mom’s best friend and showed it to my dad and asked him if he recognized her.’
Kenneth immediately recognized the woman. And later, when shown a photo of Thomas’ mother, he recognized her, too. In fact, he said the two had had a brief romantic relationship.
In that moment, he also learned that Thomas did not know who her biological father was, and questioned whether it might be him.
To find out, the three decided to split the cost of a DNA test.
On February 21, the results came in — confirming that Kenny was indeed Thomas’ father.
‘It was a Friday, and I was at work when I got the call,’ Thomas told via 6ABC Philadelphia. ‘When Kenny told me he was my dad, chills went through my body. I couldn’t think. I couldn’t process it. I couldn’t even talk to them.’
‘So that’s why we’ve been inseparable since the 6th grade….’
News of the DNA test led to Toya Wimberly as she is known on Facebook posting:
‘After years of hearing “Are y’all sisters?” “Y’all look just alike” and us just saying “NO” we are just best friends the truth finally aired that we are blood sisters!!! I don’t even know how to take this 😫 like you’re really my big sister 😭😢 that’s why we’re so similar, that’s why we look so alike, that’s why we’ve been inseparable since the 6th grade.’
The two women appearing on ABC‘s Good Morning America said they’d often been told they looked like one another with high cheekbones and gaps in their front teeth.
They even fell pregnant for the first time, at the same time, by two brothers.
Told Ashley via Good Morning America: ‘I gave her [Latoya] a shout out on Facebook and my mom’s best friend said, “I didn’t know you were Kenneth’s daughter’s best friend”.
‘I called [Latoya Wimberly] a few days later and told her my mom’s best friend said she knew your dad and your dad may know my mom.’
Latoya told Good Morning America she ‘almost passed out’ when her dad texted to say the DNA test confirmed he was Ashley’s father. She added: ‘Then I immediately called Ashley.’
Latoya said: ‘I always looked up to Ashley as if she was a big sister. We always heard, “you look so alike”.’
Ashley, who found out aged 15 that the man raising her was not her biological father, added: ‘I’ve been around him all my life and I never once thought “he could be my dad”.
‘The first few nights I couldn’t go to sleep. I’m happy that she’s my sister but had some emotions that this guy I’ve been around this whole time, I never knew he was my father.’
Biological father to the sisters expresses initial mixed feelings following DNA test:
And how dad Kenneth take the news?
Kenneth Wimberly admitted saying feeling ‘mixed emotions’ after finding out the news.
‘I was hurt, but also happy to find out that this beautiful and successful young lady was my daughter,’ the two sisters’ biological father told Newsweek.
Kenneth who acknowledged Ashley’s mother never telling him she was pregnant after their brief relationship as teenagers, said: ‘If she called me with some car stuff or if she and Toya wanted to come over for dinner, they would come and hang out.
‘I asked her one time, “Where’s your dad? He won’t help you out with your car stuff?”, and she said they didn’t have a good relationship and that was it.
‘I am happy that she’s my daughter. And everyone is happy that she’s a part of the family. It was just God’s work.’