Calgary search angel hopes to reunite 2 brothers, solving 73-year-old mystery

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Calgary search angel hopes to reunite 2 brothers, solving 73-year-old mystery
WATCH: A search is on to solve a 73-year-old mystery. A man is looking for his long lost brother and the key to his whereabouts begins in Calgary. Jill Croteau reports – Nov 1, 2021

Michael Casey is 75 years old and living in Australia. He is on a desperate search for a brother he only recently discovered he has.

Michael Casey and his wife Ade. Courtesy: Michael Casey

“I was born in May 1946 and he was born in May 1948,” Casey said.

He only learned of his younger brother’s existence when a family member shared old newspaper clippings with him. His brother’s birth made headline news in Calgary because his mother left him at a doctor’s office when he was 10 days old.

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Michael’s brother who was abandoned at the doctor’s office in Calgary in 1948. Courtesy: Michael Casey

“I can understand how horrible she would have felt having to do that kind of thing,” Casey said.

In 1948, Marg Casey was 22 years old. On a train from Regina destined for Calgary, she was desperate but not alone. She was travelling with her newborn baby boy, red headed and healthy.

Newspaper clipping. Courtesy: Michael Casey

She was unwed and when that train stopped in downtown Calgary, she saw a sign in a second-floor window of the grain exchange building, Dr. Beauchemin’s office.

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Photo of Dr. Beauchemin’s office.
Photo of Dr. Beauchemin’s office. City of Calgary archives

She walked in chatted with the nurse who left the room for a moment, when she came back the baby wrapped in a blue and white blanket was abandoned.

Newspaper article on Michael’s mother, Marg Casey. Courtesy: Michael Casey

“I became more angry at Marg, thinking, ‘this is so unfair’ and I did carry some anger. But after reading those newspaper articles, my anger softened,” Casey said. “There would have been no support for single mothers back then.”

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Photo of Marg and unknown male. Courtesy: Michael Casey

Casey’s birth mom, Marg Casey, died never revealing this to him. But there were other secrets he never knew about until he became an adult. For a significant part of his life, he was led to believe his mother Marg was his sister.

“My grandparents who adopted me, to me they are my mom and dad and all of my uncles and aunts are my brothers and sisters with me growing up,” Casey said.

The Casey family. Courtesy: Michael Casey

He wanted to know more about his history, particularly his brother and he searched, but came up with nothing. He got an offer for help from a search angel in Calgary: Jacqueline Hoare.

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“With COVID, we were all home and I had spare time and I’ve solved about 25 searches, which means reuniting parents and babies who are now adults,” Hoare said. “Imagine a birth mother, every birthday wondering, ‘what do they look like?’ Being an adoptee you wonder, ‘who do I look like? Who are my people?'”

Because this case has Calgary ties, she was drawn to it.

“It brings people home and brings him somebody he looks like,” Hoare said. “This is their story and this is the part that’s been missing for most of their life.”

She’s dissected the newspaper articles and tried to track down any connections.

“Marg had already Michael and he was raised by his grandparents so my thinking is she couldn’t imagine facing her parents with another newborn baby and what was she to do?” Hoare said. “I don’t condone what she did, but she did the best she could in a crisis and there was nothing for these young women.”

Together with the help of another family member in New Brunswick, they’ve run out of leads.

“We’ve done our due diligence. He’s had DNA testing done through ancestry and we followed leads through avenues of matches and we have as much research to find him and we hit a brick wall,” Hoare said.

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“Finding a brother, it would be exciting just to make contact and I would love to know what his life path has been,” Casey said.

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