CLINTON, KY (KMOV.com) – Michelle Boisseau recently traveled to Clinton, Kentucky to meet a cousin she never knew she had until she released a balloon.
Tommy Ingram found the balloon, but the second cousins didn’t know of each other and had never met until they sat down last Friday and got to know each other.
“We went through photos which was interesting. A lot of resemblances,” said Boisseau.
For the fun of it, Boisseau had wanted to find out, if she released a helium filled balloon, where it would go.
"I bought one, brought it home, made a little note, put it in a Ziploc, tied it there and watched it go," Boisseau said.
Boisseau released the balloon from the end of her driveway in New Athens on a Monday at 12:00 p.m. Tuesday morning at 9:25 a.m., she received a text message from the person who found it.
The text read: “I found your balloon in Clinton, Ky. this morning. It traveled about 160 miles from where it was released.”
The text came from Tommy Ingrum, a Kentucky Department of Transportation employee out on a rural highway for his job. She had never met Ingrum before.
"Me and my assistant [were] going down the road and I see a balloon that was right there," said Ingrum.
Here’s where the story gets interesting, Boisseau has connections to Ingrum’s hometown of Clinton.
"And I said, ‘That's really strange, I have family in Clinton, Kentucky,” Boisseau said.
"I said, ‘Who is your family?’ and she said, ‘That they was Standfields; and I said, ‘Well that was funny because my mother's maiden name was Stanfield," Ingrum said.
After doing some checking, the two discovered they had great-grandfathers who were brothers, making them second cousins.
"I'm amazed," Boisseau said.
The two were excited to discover a relative each didn’t know they had.
"I'm glad I found it really, I met people, I'm going to meet people, family that I didn't even know I had," Ingrum said.
Ingrum said he was related to Boisseau through his mother’s side of the family and may have other relatives he’s never met because his mother died 25 years ago. Coincidentally, he found the balloon on the anniversary of his mother’s death.
Inside Edition recently featured their story.