‘You feel like you’re nobody.’ Woman researching family history finds her own death certificate
At 46 years old, Ebett Colon still isn’t certain who she really is. She grew up in Newark thinking that she knew who her mother and father were. But a DNA test and some digging through her ancestry found that she is not related to those she calls family.
Colon says she was born in Union Township in 1974. But four months ago, she found out that as far as Union Township’s records are concerned, Ebett Colon died 10 hours after she was born.
Colon was able to access both her birth certificate and a death certificate. The cause of death is listed as prematurity and respiratory distress soon after birth.
“You feel like you’re nobody,” Colon says. “My main question is, who am I? Am I dead or alive?”
This whole situation started when Colon’s son Antonio started suffering from seizures. Colon, who has four other children, ordered a DNA test and went searching through Ancestry.com to find out about her family’s medical history.
“Once I got my DNA matches, I looked and I was like, ‘I don’t know these people. Who are these people?' I know DNA don’t lie,” she says.
Colon was raised in Newark and went to East Side High School. She grew up thinking that Eva and Efrain Colon were her mother and father. Efrain Colon is deceased. But in April, Colon asked her mother why the DNA test shows no genetic match. Eva then admitted that she is not Colon’s biological mother.
“She believes I’m her brother’s child and the lady that birth me was on drugs and overdosed,” Colon says.
Colon says that she was hurt by the news and does not have a good relationship with Eva any longer.
“We don’t talk. I just stay away,” Colon says.
She says she does not believe that her mother is telling the truth since she is also not a genetic match with Efrain or Eva’s brother.
“I believe she stole me from the hospital and that the doctors helped her,” Colon says.
The doctor listed on the death certificate, M.M. Belkoff, is deceased. But Colon’s accusation means someone had to forge documents, because there is a baby named Ebett Colon buried at Evergreen Cemetery in Hillside. It's listed on the death certificate as taking place Sept. 26, 1974.
Colon confirmed with the cemetery, a child with that name was buried there.
“I believe the baby in the ground is really [Eva’s] baby and she had a miscarriage,” Colon says.
She can’t yet confirm her theories. The hospital she was born in – Memorial General – no longer exists and getting records is difficult. She says she plans to keep searching to find out who she really is.
News 12 New Jersey was able to speak with Eva Colon. She says that her daughter wasn’t even born in New Jersey, but couldn’t answer why there is a death and birth certificate.