Detective uses crime fighting tool to track down his birth mother

A Houston area sheriff’s deputy who has used DNA to help solve plenty of cases including murders is now using it for something much more personal. It’s an unbelievable story of how he was able to track down his biological mother.

Investigators are known to crack even the most difficult cases and that is exactly what Detective Brandon Bartoskewitz did. He found his birth mom using a tool typically reserved for solving crimes.


It was at a Homicide Investigators Conference just 15 days ago that Montgomery County Sheriff’s Detective Bartoskewitz tells us he found the answers he’s been looking for for years.  

He was adopted at birth. So when he attended that work conference last month and ended up at the IdentiFinders table, a company that uses DNA to help find cold case killers, the veteran lawman asked a question that didn’t have anything to do with work. He wanted to know do they ever use DNA to unite biological families. 

"It’s been about two decades. As soon as I basically hit about 18 I started looking for my biological mother," explains Detective Bartoskewitz. "And I said well it’s my case and I gave them my story and they were super enthusiastic about it and they really wanted to help."

Three days later IdentiFinders found his birth mom Shawna Goodson because her sister had submitted DNA to an ancestry site.

"It’s been extremely emotional for me. Always in the back of my mind I’ve wished he would contact me or somehow we’d find each other," says Goodson but before they spoke Bartoskewitz was first shown an article that featured a picture of "Her dad, my grandfather after he came back from World War II and the face it just, I recognized the face immediately as my face," smiles Detective Bartoskewitz and then he dialed her number. 

"I make a lot of high-stress calls for work," the detective admits. "This by far was the most nervous I’ve been making a phone call."


"There was no question, no hesitation. It was instant ‘yes, I want to meet you.' I was full of joy," says Goodson.  

So last Tuesday, the mother and son who hadn’t seen each other since he was born back in 1983 met up along with nearly all of his extended family.

 "My new aunts, uncles, and cousins, and it was awesome," says Bartoskewitz. 

"It’s very life-changing for me," Goodson adds. "I’m just so excited. There’s so many things I’ve been thinking about. I have a son and daughter-in-law now that I can spend time with. I’m so glad to be able to call him my son."

Detective Bartoskewitz grew up with wonderful adoptive parents in The Woodlands after Goodson gave him up for adoption because she was 16-years-old when she gave birth. 

"That’s an act of love," he said. "She did that out of complete care and wanting the best for her child. That is absolutely a motherly decision that she made."

"That was just a weight that I’ve always had on me, just the not knowing," Goodson says. "Now knowing how successful it was and just knowing it was positive. It’s a major relief. I’m really happy that Brandon’s had a wonderful life."


They are now planning a massive family get-together on December 29, 2021, a day before the detective’s 38th birthday.

After using the long arm of the law to reach out and find his birth mom the detective and his mother hope sharing their story will inspire others to pursue finding their family as well.