Sheriff does not want case of missing Texas teen Thomas Brown open to public

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Tom Brown

Thomas Brown missing Canadian Texas

Thomas Brown, high school class president of his school, was 18-years-old when he went missing from Canadian, TX on November 23, 2016.  Tom was last seen leaving the Canadian Middle school parking lot around 11:20 p.m.  It is known he went to Frank Oil to put gas in his Dodge Durango SUV after leaving the school parking lot.  Surveillance video footage would later show him pumping gas into his car.  The atm card was swiped at 11:28 p.m.

thomas brown

According to the Moms for Tom Facebook page:  “Text messages sent to his phone shortly after 12:00 am were delivered, but not read. Text messages sent to his phone around 12:20 were not delivered.”

The truck was seen around 4:41 am and 4:43 am at Birch and 2nd streets, then on video at 5:55 am by Jones Pavilion/Hemphill County Baseball Complex going down the road.

The  following day, the truck was found in a grove of trees from a search helicopter on Nov. 24, about four miles from Tom’s home.  The vehicle was found with the windows down and the doors were unlocked.

After the discovery, the sheriff’s department told the family that Tom had committed suicide and returned the possession of the Durango over to them.

It would be two months later before Tom’s backpack and laptop was found on FM2266.  The police believed that the backpack was placed there afterwards, because that area was searched previously, but early on they stated they believed the backpack had been there all along.  This information contradicts their previous thought that Tom committed suicide.

This video below shows several sightings of Tom’s Durango driving all over town. But, they cannot tell who was driving.   Learn more in the video below:

The family was not convinced that Tom committed suicide and they believe the sheriff’s department turned the truck back over to them too quickly and did not do a thorough going over of the SUV.  They decided to hired a private investigation company.  Afterwards, it was announced a small drop of blood was found in the SUV and a shell casing from a 25 caliber pistol.

“Now when the Department was notified that the dog did alert on a scent of human remains in Tom’s car,” states Sheriff Lewis.

“Chief Dipti klap was out there with him and he sought out the canine handler sergeant for an accurate explanation. Sergeant explain to him that the dog alerted to the scent of a thin blood transfer staying on the interior of the driver’s door. Now the bloodstain was swapped the evening of the 24th November the collected sample was then analyzed for DNA content by the DPs crime lab. It did result in a positive match for Tom. Now the blood transfer was located during the initial search of the vehicle. The blood was not fresh and the blood was definitely not indicative to an assault or a homicide. Well if you will Chris the amount of blood the amount and the size of the blood transfer was more closely related to what you would find or occur with a modern skin could be in a busted knuckle or some paper could arrive.” (please note this seems to be an audio transcription and subsequently some words may not be accurate or written verbatim).

More information on the case –  Klein Interview 

 

Above is an article from the Canadian Record about the incident downtown where, then Deputy Lewis, stopped Thomas and his friends in June of 2015. Lewis who was a Deputy in Lipscomb County, was accused of Official Oppression when he made contact out of jurisdiction and never contacted Hemphill County Sheriff, James Pearson, about his actions in his county.  

Penny Meek’s, Tom’s mother has requesting the sheriff department to let her know more about the investigation, but they have been tight-lipped about it.  Then, in December the state attorney told Sheriff Lewis that he HAD to turn over the investigation to the public, and Sheriff Lewis responded with a lawsuit.

Sheriff Lewis’ claimed that disclosure of the documents would reveal individuals involved in the investigation, law enforcement methods used to obtain information, the identity of individuals who have provided information, and the various methods utilized by law enforcement agencies in assisting with the investigation, reports the Canadian Record.

Meek’s who is represented by attorney, Rosanna Abreo, located in Elgin, Texas stated, “I understand there are things that are privileged that relate directly to the investigation, and we have treated those as separate from what we’ve requested,” she told the Armarillo.  “So I’ve been surprised at their reluctance. There’s a level of frustration as to why are you prolonging this?

In January 2018, Sheriff Lewis asked the AG to take over the case, and “formally assume the responsibility for the investigation and/or prosecution” into what it terms a “missing person case.”

 

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Jerrie Dean, who is retired from Federal Law Enforcement, is the Founder of Missing Persons of America and Missing Texas Forty.

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