90 Day Fiancé star Avery Mills and her biological father, Burl “Dusty” Dials, have “reconnected since he’s been in prison,” a source exclusively tells In Touch. Avery opened up about her bio dad for the first time during the Monday, May 18 episode of TLC’s limited series, Self-Quarantined, where she revealed he had been in and out of jail for the past 17 years.

“Avery’s mom, Teri [Mills], had Avery when she was 16 years old. He was 17. They were not married and he hasn’t been in both of their lives since then,” the insider continues. “Avery’s mom married Nate [Mills] soon after and he’s the one who raised Avery. Avery considers Nate her father.”

The source explains Avery hadn’t seen Dusty since she was a teenager before he reentered her life. “I guess he felt lonely and reached out to her,” the insider adds. “They talk over the phone sometimes but she hasn’t gone to visit him.”

Avery had never spoken about her biological father on her reality show until she shared an update on their relationship in a recent episode — and her husband, Omar Albakkour, had a big influence on their reconciliation.

“When I met Omar, he asked about my dad and I told him the story and why my biological father was in jail,” she explained in a confessional. “He told me it doesn’t matter what he did, you need to go visit him. Omar lost his father when he was only 6 months old and he’s always wanted that relationship that he could never have with his father. So he told me that my father’s here and I shouldn’t take advantage of that and that I need to go see him and create a stronger connection with him.”

The Ohio native also revealed Dusty and Omar talked to each other for the first time over the phone recently. ” I feel like they’re going to be talking a lot more after this,” she gushed.

Avery Mills and Omar Albakkour on 90 Day Fiance
Courtesy of Avery and Omar/Instagram

Dusty is currently in prison serving out a four-year, 11-month term at the Belmont Correctional Institution in Ohio, according to online records. His current prison stint stems from an April 2018 arrest, he was later charged with one count of second-degree felony burglary and one count of second-degree felony robbery. He pleaded guilty in July 2018. He began his sentence on February 12, 2019.

With reporting by Diana Cooper