Tag Archives: Hemphill County

Time for answers in young man’s death

Thomas Kelly Brown’s loved ones — his family and his friends throughout Hemphill County, Texas — need more than what they apparently got from the Texas Attorney General’s Office.

The AG says Brown, who disappeared on Thanksgiving 2018, was not the victim of “foul play.” Never mind that his body was found far removed from his laptop and his backpack. As others have noted already, this case has “foul play” screaming from it.

Yet the AG says there was no “evidence” that foul play occurred.
OK, so how did this young man die? Shouldn’t the attorney general, who along with the Texas Rangers and Hemphill County authorities searched for clues surrounding the young Canadian High School senior’s disappearance and death, provide some form of closure to the young man’s death?

Hey, these aren’t just a gaggle of nosy Noras wanting to satisfy their idle curiosity. They have a serious emotional stake in this matter.

They are entitled to a full explanation into how the authorities reached what many of us believe is a faulty conclusion.

Canadian teen’s loved ones get punched in the gut?

I will have to step aside for any detailed analysis of what the Texas Attorney General’s Office has concluded about the mysterious and heartbreaking death of a Canadian High School senior, Thomas Kelly Brown.

The expert on this tragedy is my friend and former colleague Jon Mark Beilue, who wonders aloud whether how in the world the AG’s office could find that “there is no evidence that would lead a reasonable person to conclude that foul play led to the death of Thomas Kelly Brown.”

He disappeared on Thanksgiving Day 2018. His body was discovered near Lake Marvin. His laptop and other personal belongings were found miles away from where police found Brown’s body.

So … the AG’s office says that Brown did not die as a result of someone doing him harm. No evidence? Good … grief!

As Jon Mark Beilue said in his social media post: These findings go “beyond the pale.”

The powers that be — the AG’s office, the Texas Rangers, the Hemphill County Sheriff’s Office — all need to come up with some plausible explanation for what happened to this young man.

Here is Beilue’s rant. It’s worth your time to read it:

“…There is no evidence that would lead a reasonable person to conclude that foul play led to the death of Thomas Kelly Brown…”

You mean except for the fact that his body was found near Lake Marvin and his vehicle was found miles away with video evidence of it being driven that night, or that his backpack and laptop computer were found several more miles away?

Who wrote this, the Attorney General’s office of Texas or Deputy Barney Fife? Unfortunately, it was the former in an announcement on Wednesday.

As someone while with the Globe-News who wrote multiple stories on Thomas Brown, the Canadian senior who suddenly went missing in the early hours of Thanksgiving 2016, this is beyond the pale.

It is absolutely unconscionable that a reasonable person would not conclude that foul play was involved. This whole case has all but screamed of foul play since the very murky outset. Investigators said time and again they knew it to be foul play, but could not bring sufficient evidence.

Suppose the powers that be go ahead and tell the public exactly why a reasonable person should not conclude foul play was involved? Or is this just a way of throwing up your hands and saying we can’t solve it.

I feel for those closest to Brown in all of this. I can’t imagine what this latest bit of news brings. I could go on and on, but just leave it at this. To paraphrase the AG report: “Any reasonable person can conclude that someone got away with murder in Hemphill County in the death of Thomas Kelly Brown.”

Thomas Brown’s family and all of those who loved him have been kicked squarely in the gut.

Now let’s find this youngster’s killer

The harsh and heartbreaking truth has been revealed to a rural Texas Panhandle community.

One of its sons, Thomas Brown — missing since November 2016 — is dead. Someone found his remains near Canadian in Hemphill County. Forensics experts were able to determine the identity of those remains.

The family is grieving. As is the community that Thomas called home.

No one likely is able to dictate to the authorities on what to do next, but I am going to use this blog to make a specific request of them.

The Department of Public Safety and the Texas Rangers, along with Hemphill County and Canadian police must spare no effort or expense in finding out what happened to this youngster.

Thomas’s mother said all she wants are prayers. I’ll accept that, but that’s not all she needs. She and the rest of Thomas’s family need to know what happened to him. They need complete and unequivocal closure.

They never will get over this tragedy completely. They can come a good bit closer to it than they are at this moment with a thorough and intense investigation into the fate that befell the teenager.

This case is extraordinary given the amount of time Thomas was listed as “missing.” The family no doubt held out some glimmer of hope that he would return alive. I have some intimate knowledge of that, inasmuch as a close member of my family once was listed as “missing” for a mere eight days before police found his remains.

The Texas Rangers are the elite investigative arm of the DPS. These folks are very good at what they do. Whatever it takes, they need to look for as long as they have any semblance of hope of determining what happened to this young man.

Moreover, they need to determine who inflicted this terrible misery on a Texas Panhandle family and community.

Now come the questions: Who did this . . . and why?

A community’s heart is shattered with this news.

Remains found near Canadian, Texas have been confirmed to be those of a teenager who disappeared on Nov. 23, 2016.

They belong to Thomas Brown.

Thomas’s mother said simply, “We just need prayers.” Done. You’ll have them from a grieving Texas Panhandle that had hoped for all it could that Thomas would be found alive.

Now comes the arduous task for Hemphill County law enforcement officials, hopefully with help from the Texas Rangers and neighboring agencies. They need to find out who did this and for what purpose.

In the meantime, a shaken community will somehow seek to regain its strength.

Perhaps a region’s collective love will help it recover.