Watch CBS News

Report: Cannibal Victim's Daughter Never Knew Father

NEW YORK (CBSMiami) – The daughter of Causeway Cannibal victim Ronald Poppo said she didn't know her father and that she thought he was dead long before the horrific attack by Rudy Eugene last Saturday.

Janice Poppo DiBello, 44, told the New York Daily News that Ronald abandoned her family when she was just 2-years-old. She said she was stunned to find out her absentee father was the homeless man who was attacked and eaten by the Causeway Cannibal.

"Since I was like two-years-old, him and my mom got divorced and there was no – like how normal divorces are, where you see your father," DiBello told the NY Daily News. "Nobody ever heard anything from him, so I've never met him. I didn't know if he was alive or dead."

DiBello told the Daily News she knows Ronald is in critical condition at Jackson Memorial Hospital and he's missing between 75 and 80 percent of his face. DiBello called her mom to confirm the details about the victim, which her mother did.

"It was a complete shock, because like I said, I've never had a relationship with my biological father," DiBello told the Daily News. "I have never heard from him. I have no idea what happened to him."

Ronald Poppo spent much of his life on the street committing petty crimes that many homeless people end up trying to get away with. Poppo had been on the streets for 30 years when his name and face were vaulted into the spotlight by a horrific attack.

DiBello said she tried to track down her father roughly 15 years ago through public records and with the help of a friend's husband who's a police officer. But, she ran into a brick wall.

"Nothing ever came up, so I thought he was dead," DiBello told the Daily News.

But now, after a crazed Eugene turned Poppo's face into lunch, DiBello knows her father is still clinging to life. She hasn't decided if she will come to Florida to see her father, according to the Daily News.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.