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.