Harrison TownshipOctober 22, 2013
Former Macomb County resident using social media to locate biological father, half-brother
By Julie Snyder
C & G Staff Writer
Sugin Musgrave’s mother is pictured with an unidentified man during a family function at a Harrison Township reception hall in September 1974. Sugin Musgrave believes the man is her biological father and hopes someone may recognize him.
Sugin Musgrave wants to find her biological father.
That goal has been with her for many years, but she’s only just recently amped up her efforts to locate him after learning that she also has a half-brother out there somewhere.
To aid in her endeavor, Musgrave, 38, has turned to social media to spread the word.
Earlier this month she launched a Facebook community page under the name Finding Sugin’s Family, in part because the only person who may know who her father is has kept steadfastly silent about it.
“I try not to ask my mom questions about who my father is anymore because it just turns into an argument,” she said. “She gets very upset. She has never told anyone who my real father is.”
More than 15 years ago, a great aunt of Musgrave’s gave her a photo of her mother and a man who was her date to a family celebration some 39 years ago at a reception hall in Harrison Township.
“I was born nine months after her wedding reception,” said Musgrave, who was born in Michigan in June 1975. Her mother, who now lives in Tennessee, resided in Mount Clemens at that time in 1974.
But getting details about the mystery man in the photograph have been futile thus far.
“My mom can tell you what shoes she was wearing that night, but she can’t remember him,” Musgrave said. “My (two) aunts have been supportive and have helped, even paying to get a DNA test done on one man named David who we thought might be my father (he wasn’t).”
Musgrave said when she was a young girl her mother was an alcoholic and abusive. Today, she said, at nearly 60, her mother is mentally unstable and denies that the man in the photograph with her is her father.
But Musgrave doesn’t believe her.
She hasn’t seen her mother in many years since she and her own family are living on an air base in Germany, though they still speak from time to timer over the phone.
“Even if we did sit down face-to-face (to talk about it) my mother has never been honest with me,” Musgrave said. “But I love my mom despite her faults.”
Her mother later married, and she later gave birth to a son, a half-brother Musgrave tracked down and later met when she was living in Arizona.
All the while Musgrave yearned to finally find and meet her biological father, who she believes is from the Macomb County area.
“I don’t even know if he’s still alive,” said Musgrave, who attended South River Elementary School in the L’Anse Creuse Public Schools district until the fourth grade.
Musgrave later lived in Arizona, North Dakota and New Mexico before her husband, U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. James Musgrave, was stationed at Ramstein Air Base in Germany in 2007.
“I want to see if he would like to be a part of my life and my kids’ lives,” she said, referring to her three children, Joseph, 19, a college student in Germany, Ethan, 15, a high school freshman, and Faith, 12, a seventh-grader. “My kids are great.”
Then, earlier this year, another bombshell: Musgrave had yet another half-brother, this one a few years older.
She said in 1970, her mother, then only 16, gave birth to a son and was forced by her parents to give him up for adoption. Musgrave said the last known whereabouts of Jeremy James Russell was at the Salvation Army Home for Unwed Mothers in Detroit. She has yet to find his whereabouts as well.
Musgrave said she can’t afford to pay a private investigator to help locate her father, so she’s hoping her efforts through Facebook will help. And even though she’s yet to get a solid lead or tip as to the whereabouts or identity of the man in the photo or her half-brother, she hasn’t given up hope and she’s marveled in the insurmountable connections she’s made with many people across the United States and internationally who’ve offered words of kindness and who have shared their own success stories of finding their biological families.
“It’s been an amazing journey,” said the children’s author and blogger who also runs her own website www.suginscorner.com. “Some of the stories I have heard have brought me to tears. And everyone has wished me well in my efforts.”
Musgrave has also connected with a close childhood friend who she hadn’t seen or heard from since kindergarten.
Musgrave’s aunt, one of her mother’s sisters who wished not to have her name published, said her niece deserves the family she’s always dreamed of, and she will continue to help her find both her father and her half-brother.
“We truly feel somebody is going to recognize that face,” said the aunt who lives in Lapeer County. “And we’re hoping he’s not too far away. That kid has wanted a dad her whole life and her mother has never told her. She deserves to know who her dad is.”