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Man From Nigeria Seeks Exhumation To Prove Midlothian Man Was His Father

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MIDLOTHIAN, Ill. (CBS) — In order to win U.S. citizenship, a man from Nigeria wants to exhume the body of a Midlothian man whom he says is his father.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports, Alexander Vavrinek, 67, of Nigeria wants to become a U.S. citizen. The Chicago Sun-Times reports he claims his father was Joseph Vavrinek of Midlothian, who was stationed in Nigeria with the U.S. Army during World War II.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports

But Alexander Vavrinek cannot prove the claim unless he gets permission to exhume Joseph Vavrinek’s body, the Sun-Times reports.

But Joseph Vavrinek’s daughter, Rose Ann Vavrinek of Midlothian, has reportedly refused to permit the exhumation. Alexander Vavrinek has filed a lawsuit against Rose Ann Vavrinek in an effort to allow the exhumation, the Sun-Times reported.

The newspaper says the lawsuit also names Roman Catholic Church officials, since Joseph Vavrinek is buried at the Holy Sepulchre Church in Alsip, which is controlled by the Chicago Archdiocese.

In addition to an order allowing for the exhumation of the body, the lawsuit also seeks a ruling that Alexander Vavrinek is a U.S. citizen and is entitled to a passport, as well as $10,000 for emotional distress, the Sun-Times reports.

Joseph Vavrinek died in 1981, and Alexander Vavrinek’s mother, Edna Khanji of Nigeria, died in 1996, the Sun-Times reported.

The lawsuit says Joseph Vavrinek stayed in touch with Khanji for some time after he left Nigeria, and acknowledged that he was Alexander Vavrinek’s father, the Sun-Times reported.

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