Trio say aviator was their father
Saturday, November 29, 2003
FRANKFURT, Germany -- A DNA test has proven that U.S. aviator Charles Lindbergh fathered the three children of a German hatmaker, a spokesman for the siblings said Friday.
The children, Dyrk and David Hesshaimer and their sister, Astrid Bouteuil, have no plans to stake a claim as legal heirs, but wanted to verify the relationship before going ahead with plans to publish a book on their mother's long-running secret relationship with the married pilot, said the sibling's spokesman, lawyer Anton Schwenk.
A TV documentary on the family is scheduled for release in Germany next year.
No one was immediately available for comment at the Lindbergh Foundation in Anoka, Minn., which was closed for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
Schwenk said after receiving the results of the test from the Munich-based LMU Institute the three Germans informed their half-siblings in the United States, some of whom they met last month. They agreed to issue only a statement, rather than hold a new conference, "because that is the style of the American Lindbergh family," he added.
The German siblings came forward this summer with their claim, offering as evidence a bundle of 112 letters that they said Lindbergh wrote to their mother, Brigitte Hesshaimer. They said then they were not interested in money, only acknowledgment that Lindbergh was their father.
Lindbergh's 1927 solo flight across the Atlantic made him a global celebrity. He married Anne Morrow in 1929, and they had six children. In 1932, their first-born baby son was kidnapped and murdered.
The marriage endured until Lindbergh's death in 1974, but during the last decades of his life he roamed the globe, rarely visiting his Connecticut home.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh died in 2001, as did Brigitte Hesshaimer.