A Heartwarming reunion story of two sisters who were apart for 48 years

Michele Dugan and Tricia Tilley, are two sisters who lived in the Las Vegas valley for over 25 years without ever knowing they were sisters. Michele and Tricia had been living in the valley just kilometers apart.

Michele Dugan was born in 1970 and she grew up in Southern California. Her biological mom gave her up for adoption along with her brother. She was raised by a lovely family. Although she’s from California, Dugan moved to Las Vegas, Nevada in 1994. She became a real estate agent and raised a family.

Although Dugan had a lovely family, she felt like something was missing.


“I didn’t know any birth family my whole life I didn’t know who I looked like or you know who were my people. I love my family but I just always felt like there was someone else out there may be and I didn’t know who that was,” Dugan said.

Tricia Tilley was born in 1970 and she was raised by her mother, father, and two brothers. She moved to Las Vegas in 1978 with her family. “I grew up with my family I thought,” Tilley said.

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About 25 years later after Dugan moved to Las Vegas, she saw a commercial for Ancestry.com while dropping her son off at college.

Surprisingly, an Ancestry DNA matched her to a half-brother in New Jersey, a northeastern US state. Her half-brother is the first person Dugan discovered on Ancestry. When they talked to each other, he told her more family members are living in Las Vegas valley. “He goes you’re in Vegas? There’s three more of us out there and I’m like what?” Dugan said.

He told her about Tricia Tilley. Later, Tricia and Michele talked on Facebook.

Heartwarming reunion story of two sisters who were apart for 48 years
Tricia and Michele

The two sisters understood they share remarkable similarities. Interestingly, not only do their children attend the same high school, but both Tricia and Michele also attended their graduation ceremony!

“We were both pregnant at the same time,” said Tricia. “Then our kids went to the same high school- Coronado High School. My daughter Jessie and her son Justin, and they graduated in the same year and we were at the same graduation at UNLV.”


Another interesting fact is that they had the same pictures of the stage on their phone “just from a different angle.”

“And we both grabbed our phones and showed pictures and we have the same pictures of the stage just different angles of the place I mean it was so – so crazy,” Dugan said.

The two women have different mothers, but the same father.

“The ladies loved dad and dad loved the ladies,” Tricia said with a laugh. “He was definitely a player and he was so charismatic and good-looking and you know just loved people.” There are seven half-siblings living in the US!

Father of the sisters

In 2004, their father passed away. but Tricia recognized her sister’s face have some of their dad’s features.

“I was so nervous I had no idea what to expect. And then she slides into the booth next to me and it’s like looking at a ghost because she looks exactly like our dad- the blue eyes, the same color hair, the same skin tone like it was crazy I’m like oh wow,” Tilley said.

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Tricia and Michele are now best friends who do everything together. They’re even starting a real estate business in a partnership called Sisters Selling Vegas.

“It’s amazing we get to work together – so much fun. We laugh until we pee our pants we have so much fun we crack up,” Dugan said.

“Our motto is we missed the first 48 years so we’re going to make the best of whatever we have left,” said Michele.

“I now have a best friend and a sister and everything all wrapped into one,” Tricia agreed.

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