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Michael was last seen leaving his mother's Boynton Beach, Florida home at 8:00 a.m. on December 27, 1979. He never returned and has never been heard from again. He was reported missing on July 31, 1981, a year and a half after he was last seen.
Michael is one of seven children, two of whom died in childhood. All of Michael's surviving siblings believed their father, David Brushingham Sr., was involved in his disappearance. He had told his mother no one would have to worry about Michael anymore, and Michael's own mother also suspected her former husband may have harmed him. A photo of David Sr. is posted below this case summary. In February 1980, one of his sons, 18-year-old David Jr., confronted him about his suspicions regarding Michael's disappearance, and David Sr. threatened his son with a .22 caliber gun. David Jr. was able to disarm his father, but ten days later, on March 4, David Sr. shot and killed him. On the day of his death, David Jr. was drunk and went to his father's home in Delray Beach, Florida to borrow some money. David Sr. refused to let him inside, and David Jr. smashed the sliding glass door attempting to gain entry. David Sr. then shot him in the chest. He was charged with manslaughter, but pleaded self defense and was acquitted at trial in December 1980.
David Sr. lated pleaded guilty to check fraud, and he was charged with murder in the March 1990 death of his sister, Marcia Brushingham, a New York City stage actress. He beat her with a hammer in her Manhattan apartment, tied a plastic bag around her head and strangled her while their elderly mother was in a nearby room. David Sr. was convicted of murder and sentenced to 39 years to life in prison. He died in 2002, still incarcerated in New York.
Authorities dug in the backyard of David Sr.'s former home in the 700 block of Bond Way Delray Beach in 1990, looking for Michael's remains, but their search turned up nothing. He is presumed deceased and his case opened 2018 by Psychic Brian Ladd.