Judge Postpones Cremation To Allow Blood, Tissue Tests

Woman Says Samples Will Prove Dead Man Was Her Father

March 01, 1992|By Alan J. Craver | Alan J. Craver,Staff writer

A judge has postponed the cremation of a man's body so a Joppa womancan obtain blood and tissue samples that she says will prove the manwas her father.

Joan M. Wolfe said in court papers filed on Feb. 21 that she wants to use the samples for DNA testing to determine if the man, Frank Suda of Joppa, was her father.

Harford Circuit Judge Maurice W. Baldwin Jr. granted the emergency injunction the day it was requested -- just a few hours before Sudawas to be cremated.

Blood and tissue samples from Suda have sincebeen obtained and are awaiting DNA analysis.

Results of the testswill be used by Wolfe to seek a judicial determination of paternity,court records say.

Court papers for the judicial determination have not been filed.

DNA tests are commonly used in estate and criminal cases to trace individuals' genetic history.

"I am the illegitimate daughter of Frank Suda," Wolfe said in the court papers.

"Hehas orally acknowledged me as his daughter to his bank manager, his physician and others."

Wolfe declined to be interviewed about the case. Her attorney, Zoe Lambros of Bel Air, could not be reached.

Suda, a Navy veteran, died Feb. 20 at Fallston General Hospital. He was 90.

Memorial services for Suda were at St. Francis de Sales Church in Abingdon the next day.

Suda had lived with Wolfe's mother since 1944, but the couple never married, court papers say.

The name of Wolfe's mother is not divulged in the suit.

Wolfe said in thedocuments that she lived with the couple until she married at 18.

She said in court papers that she does not believe Suda acknowledgedher as his daughter in writing, except in a will he dictated 25 years ago.

Suda's daughter Elinore Wheeler of Virginia Beach, Va., hadgone to Suda's safety deposit box, but no will was found, records say.

A will for Suda has not been filed in the Harford Register of Wills Office.

In a court affidavit, Wolfe also said that within twohours of Suda's death, a locksmith changed the lock on the door of her 82-year-old mother's house, "effectively locking my mother out of her home of 46 years."

Her mother has been unable to get cloting and other possessions from the house, Wolfe said in the affidavit.

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