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(WBIR-West Knoxville) For more than 20 years, an East Tennessee woman has been searching for her older sister.

Carolyn Munson said she and her older sister share the same father but they had never met or even spoken until a family tragedy brought them together.

She said the same questions would always go through her head.

"Does she want to find me? Is she looking for me? What does she look like," Munson asked.

Munson and her sister, April Dotson, are five years apart in age. They had lived within an hour of each other for many years and even attended several of the same events.

"After 35 years of searching, it only took 20 minutes. I'm thinking 'wow God, only you could do something like this,'" Dotson said.

Carolyn said she searched for April on ancestory.com, Google, phone books, newspapers, and social media a countless number of times.

Their father, Calvin Leon Cox, passed away two weeks ago and Carolyn said finding April became her main priority.

"We found his brother, we found his sister, and while I was in my search I said it's time for me to find her too," Munson said.

Hundreds of millions of people have a Facebook account and Carolyn said she messaged every April Cox that existed. She said she didn't know her married name, and it was a mutual friend that finally brought them together.

"I was like, 'Hey, you have a friend on your page named April Dotson. Can you tell me what her birthday is'. I knew her birthday. She told me she went to church with her and her mom's name was Brenda. I fell apart at that point," Munson explained.

The sisters said meeting each other for the first time was nothing like they had ever imagined.

"I didn't want to leave," Dotson said. "There was such a connection at that moment in time. It was like we knew each other our whole lives."

Munson agreed.

"I was shaking. Literally shaking beyond belief. It was just a big sigh of relief to know that I could actually hug her and she wasn't just a figment of my imagination all these years," she said.

April said she never knew her father and she doesn't resent him for that. She said she is excited to learn all about him through her new little sister.

"When one door closes, another opens," she said. "I know that my real dad would have wanted this to happen."

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