She knew she had a sister. After meeting, they went into business together.

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Michele Dugan was in foster care as a child and was eventually adopted with her brother by a couple from Southern California near her birth.

Dugan, now 51 and living in Las Vegas, said in 2018 he decided he wanted to know more about his birth parents and whether he could find any blood relatives he could find.

“I was always wondering where I came from and who I looked like,” he said. “I had a lot of questions, but my adoptive parents didn’t get many answers.”

“As I got older, I knew there had to be someone else out there who was related to me,” he added.

He signed up for a DNA match company and found out about three years ago that he had some siblings.

One of them – a sister – lived 15 minutes from the road. That was just the beginning of the similarities.

“I was amazed at how close it was,” Dugan said. “In fact, my hair went up to the back of my neck.”

Her sister, Trish Morgan-Tilley, a 52-year-old neighbor, has the same father as Dugan. When they first met the couple in 2019, they were amazed at the similarities in their lives.

Morgan-Tilley said it was almost like seeing a ghost when Dugan entered the Italian restaurant where they had their first meeting.

“Michele came into the cabin with those fiery blue eyes, and it was like looking at my dad,” he said. “I couldn’t stop looking at him. There was no doubt that she was my sister. We started to finish each other’s sentences. ‘

Dugan has two sons, Morgan-Tilley has one son and three daughters. Their two children graduated from the same high school together in 2018, before the sisters got to know each other.

“Our kids didn’t know each other, but Trish and I were there that day filming the graduation ceremony from different angles,” she said. “It’s unbelievable to think that we’ve spent time together at school or in the grocery store over the years.”

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Dugan said he was watching TV in October 2018 when he was motivated to look for his relatives when an Ancestry ad appeared and decided to open an account and send him a sample of his DNA.

In January 2019, the results came back: he was of Scottish, English and Irish heritage, and his list of those who shared his DNA was long.

Dugan said he was in contact with the person with the highest DNA parity and found that he had six half-siblings scattered across the United States — four siblings and two half-sisters — all with the same birth father. He also learned that it was the result of a relationship he had had while he was married.

But he was happy to meet his sister, who had lived around Las Vegas all his life.

“A sister who lives in the same town! It was what I always dreamed of, ”Dugan said.

He said he was immediately put on Facebook.

His classmates would not sign his yearbook. So older students came in.

Trish Morgan-Tilley was only five months older than Dugan and had the same interests in cooking, travel, and real estate. Dugan started selling homes in Las Vegas in 1998, and his sister went to real estate school but has not yet received a license.

In June 2019, Dugan encouraged his newly found sister to study for a Nevada real estate license. When Morgan-Tilley passed the test, Dugan came up with an idea: What if Morgan-Tilley came with him to work for the Las Vegas Realty One Group?

“Trish immediately said yes, and I took her under my wing,” Dugan said. “I’ve sold a thousand properties over the years, so I started showing everything I knew about the real estate business.”

Morgan-Tilley said he was happy to have a new career path after selling holiday time shares and going to the bar.

“My sister has a heart of gold – working with her every day and getting to know her better was exciting,” she said.

He and Dugan quickly decided on a name for their band: Sisters Selling Vegas.

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When the real estate company they both work for today asked the staff for some interesting personal stories in the spring, the sisters realized they had the perfect story to tell.

“Then when we told them about it, we thought,‘ Why not call the local news too? ’” Dugan said. “It’s crazy how we found each other.”

Now, in their daily lives, they have made many connections. They have also known each other’s pasts.

Morgan-Tilley said she had lived in Las Vegas since she was 8, and she enjoyed her childhood with her two brothers. Meanwhile, Dugan and his brother were taken in by a family and raised in the San Fernando Valley, California.

“Our birth mother was a single parent, unable to care for herself, let alone two children,” said Dugan, noting that her biological mother died in 2002.

“When I found Trish and my other new siblings, I was finally happy to receive some answers about my hometown’s father,” she said.

Morgan-Tilley said that after meeting Dugan, he talked to his mother and learned that his father had a relationship. But, as far as she knew, no one in the family knew that the affair had caused her pregnancy.

“Our father was a charismatic person who loved people, and everyone loved him,” he said, adding that his father died in 2004.

“He was always a good father to me and my brothers,” Morgan-Tilley said.

Dugan’s adoptive father died in 1997, but his mother is still alive and is in favor of the discovery of his birth family, he said.

“He knows it’s a wonderful gift,” Dugan said. “I know where I come from and now I have two families to love.”

He and his sister said they both feel they have overcome the wrongs in Las Vegas.

“We lost the first 48 years, so we’re going to count every day with the time we have left,” Morgan-Tilley said.

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