Augusta- A local man was able to locate his father and half siblings through genetic testing.
“It was kind of weird, they said they always knew they had an older brother, and they didn’t know who it was,” says Tobias Yuhouse.
Tobias Yuhouse is a former police officer. He lives in Grovetown with his wife and two kids. Back in 2019, his wife bought him the 23andMe genetic testing kit for father’s day.
Yuhouse says they ” wanted the health side of it, to know what I prone to health wise because we didn’t know any of that.”
But he found out more about his dad’s side of the family than he expected.
“We get the results back and poof I have a brother listed on there,” Yuhouse said.
He dug a little deeper using Facebook to find his brother Matt.
“Typed the name into Facebook and another person pops up Brandon, who’s a cousin, and we had a mutual friend, I contacted my mutual friend, and he gave me Brandon’s phone number, called Brandon, and he says, sure enough, Matt’s your brother, your dad’s named Matt, he’s in Michigan you have a brother Josh outside of Pittsburg two sisters outside of Pittsburg, and I got their information from Brandon, and it snowballed from there,” he says.
It became a family reunion via the internet. Youhouse was able to meet his father and siblings for the first time through FaceTime, but he had a special bond with his brother.
“He was probably the one that I was closest to immediately, just because our age was really close, we were really close in age, and we were just very similar, when we were on FaceTime with each other, you wouldn’t be able to tell who was talking because we sounded just like each other,” he said.
But not even a year after speaking with his brother, the unthinkable happened. At just 39-years-old Youhouse’s brother Matt passed from a heartattack.
He said, “It was actually shocking because I had just talked to him just two days before that. My wife and kids and I were on a vacation in Clear Water and then my sister called me and told me while we were there and we were just in disbelief because he was always healthy and well put together”
Youhouse didnt have much to remind him of his brother.
“I never got to meet him in person so after he passed away she sneakily went ahead and ordered this and had this made and then when we got back from vacation it was about a month later this came in the mail I had no idea what it was then, of course, I opened it up and it’s showing he and I together even though we had never met,” he said.
Youhouse’s wife had the painting made showing the two brothers together for the first time. What turned this tragedy into a fairytale was during Matt’s funeral. That’s when Youhouse met his entire family on his dad’s side including his father.