The Murder of Thomas Kelly Brown
|Thomas Kelly "Tom" Brown|
|Born||September 13, 1998|
|Disappeared||November 23, 2016 (aged 18)|
|Height||6 feet 1 inch (1.85 m)6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Weight||180 lbs 180 lb (82 kg)|
Thomas Kelly Brown was an 18 year old boy from Canadian, TX who went missing in November 2016, and was subsequently found dead in January 2019. As of May 2019 his death was unsolved, and it was featured in an April 2019 edition of the Sideline Sleuths podcast.
On November 23rd, 2016, the day before Thanksgiving, 18-year-old Thomas Kelly Brown went missing in Canadian, TX. His body was found more than two years later on January 9, 2019 near Lake Marvin, a recreational area in Hemphill County. His body was identified through forensic testing and dental records.
Last known whereabouts
Around 6 pm on the day he went missing, he asked his mom, Penny Meek, if he could borrow her debit card for gas money because he was going to go hang out with his friends: Kaleb and Christian. They all met up at the middle school and rode around. Tom and Kaleb left their vehicles parked at the school, and the three of them drove around in Christian’s car. A school security camera, as well as a nearby church’s camera, shows Tom and his two friends pulling out of the parking lot in their separate vehicles around 11:20 pm.
That evening before heading home, Tom stopped at Fronc’s Oil and Gas to get gas. Fronc’s did not have any functional cameras, at the time of Tom’s disappearance, their cameras were down. Penny's debit card was swiped at 11:28pm.
When Tom misses his curfew, his mom and his brother, Tucker, go out looking for him. They find no sign of Tom or his red Dodge Durango. They recruit others in their search including Tom's friends Kaleb, Christian, and Michael. Deputy Pyne Gregory with the Hemphill County Sheriff's Office also participates in the search.
The next morning Christian Webb, the girl who Tom and Kaleb had been out with the night before, went up in a helicopter with her father to look for Tom’s Durango. Christian and her father spotted the vehicle in a really remote area parked, hidden under some trees, about four miles from Tom’s house near some ball fields and a water treatment plant on a small road close to a small set of apartments.
His phone, laptop, bag, and keys were missing from his vehicle. A small smudge of blood was found on the driver side door of the Durango, a shell casing from a .25-caliber pistol, and a debit card belonging to Michael Caseltine, one of Tom’s friends who he saw earlier the same day of his disappearance.
About two months after Tom disappeared, his backpack was found about four miles from where his car had been found, and about 10 months after that his cellphone was located. It was found five miles from the backpack’s discovery location and nine miles from the location of the car. The backpack was found on the other side of the river from the Durango’s location, behind a barbed-wire fence on Lake Marvin Road. Finding Tom’s belongings did not yield any new evidence of significance for investigators.
On January 9, 2019, a man walking down a path near Lake Marvin noticed something and called the police.
The true crime podcast, Unfound, published a 3+ hour long episode about Tom's disappearance that features an interview with his mother. The true crime podcast, Sideline Sleuths, released an episode about this case in April of 2019.
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