Barkingside woman finds long-lost brother in American jail for murder
PUBLISHED: 12:39 03 October 2012 | UPDATED: 17:08 03 October 2012
©Robert Johns 2012.Moral rights asserted.Byline-Pic. Robert Johns/UNP.Licensed to Channel 4 for editorial PR use until 19 March 2013.
A Barkingside woman spent more than 20 years searching for her long-lost brother, only to find him serving 99 years for murder in an American jail.
Natasha Owen Jones, 31, was separated from big brother Morgan Shulz in 1981 when he was adopted by an American family and she was taken in by a family in Derbyshire.
Their mother had died of a drug overdose and their father was in prison.
But Natasha discovered she had a brother when she was 14 and never stopped searching.
Last year, she found his name and photo listed on a criminal convictions website.
Morgan, now 32, is in Minnesota Correctional Facility for killing a drug dealer when he was 20.
She said: “It was quite surreal, I don’t know if I really believed it was him at first but I knew as soon as I saw the picture.
“I was hoping there had been some kind of mistake with the printing but I called the prison to check and it was definitely him.”
But Natasha was still determined to get in touch and began speaking to Morgan on the phone.
She said the evidence against him was circumstantial and, although she believes he “beat the guy” she does not think he was responsible for the man’s death.
She said: “One day we were talking on the phone and he was “I really want to give you a hug right now” and my heart was breaking because I just wanted to hug him too.
“I wanted to find a way to go out and visit him it was so expensive.”
Natasha saved up and finally made the journey to meet Morgan for the first time in February.
Their first meeting was filmed by Channel 4 for a documentary on Natasha and Morgan’s story, My Brother, the Murderer.
Natasha said: “I can’t describe what it felt like, I was buzzing so much I can barely remember what happened.
“I’ve been given a recording of the full meeting so it’s nice to watch it again to remember all the little things I forgot.”
The siblings have spoken every day on the phone since they had to separate again.
Natasha is now a mum of two and hopes that Jessica, five, and Marcus, eight, will meet their uncle one day.
She is raising money to fund US attorneys to help Morgan’s appeal for early release.
A petition has also been started to extradite British citizen Morgan, who was born in Luton like Natasha, back to his home country.
Visit www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/send-morgan-schulz-home to sign the petition.
Write to Morgan and read updates on his page www.facebook.com/turkanator99.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Ilford Recorder. Click the link in the orange box above for details.