Investigators detail how Thomas Brown was found, what’s next

Thomas Brown went missing from Canadian November 2016
Thomas Brown went missing from Canadian November 2016(kfda)
Updated: Jan. 17, 2019 at 10:50 AM CST
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CANADIAN, TX (KFDA) - We are learning more on the discovery of Thomas Brown’s remains in Hemphill County.

NewsChannel10 spoke with the lead private investigator on the case, Philip Klein, who was hired by Brown’s family.

He said on January 9, a man was walking down a path near Lake Marvin Road when he noticed something, and called authorities immediately.

The Texas Attorney General’s Office (OAG) and the Texas Rangers responded and later confirmed through forensic testing it was the missing Canadian teen.

Original report, November 2016: Hemphill County Sheriff’s Office still searching for missing teen

During what Klein calls a phase one search last year, he said they had roughly 18 miles to cover plus an acre on either side of the road.

He added that the area where Thomas was found wasn’t missed, but had not yet been searched.

“That area had been flown by helicopters... the south part of that area had been run by our guys, by trace sergeant and her dog,” said Klein. “They had run to the south side of that area but he had not gotten to the north side yet. So it wasn’t a matter of a missing by law enforcement or us at all, it was just a matter of that area hadn’t been searched.”

April 2017: Investigators conduct large ground search, continue to ask for public help

Klein wouldn’t comment on the condition of the remains found, however he said there’s no doubt this is an active homicide investigation.

“What will happen now is that the OAG and the Texas Rangers will continue their investigation and will continue to interview people and build evidence,” he said.

He said their team is very well focused right now and that they knew a body was out there all along.

“We’re going back over the evidence of the car, the shell casing... the blood that was in the car,” said Klein. “The actual timeline between 11:38 and 12:05 I think is very, very, very, very important.”

They’ve received questions as to whether or not there’s a killer among in the community of Canadian.

To that he says:

“Everybody can sleep well at night, but if I was a dad and I had kids out there in the community, I’d be like anything else.” said Klein. “Maybe I’m just too cynical being a 29-year-old investigator, but I’d sleep with one eye open right now. I would, until this thing is solved.”

Klein said he does not believe it was a pre-meditated homicide. The reward that was in place for Thomas' whereabouts is now geared toward information surrounding his death.

Klein stresses that locals steer clear of Lake Marvin Road as it could impede their investigation.

“It’s still an active working crime scene and we just don’t need people out there tromping around,” he said. “We know everyone loved Tom, we know the town is hurting, hell we know Hemphill County and North Texas is hurting. And we know people want to go put roses and flowers and markers out there honoring Tom but now isn’t the time to do that.”

He said the whole area of Lake Marvin Road probably needs to be look over again and that there are some persons of interest floating around.

“Do I think there will be an arrest in this? Oh eventually one day there will be, yes absolutely,” he said. “When? I don’t know.”

When asked about a timeline of when the cause of death will be announced, Klein said the Attorney General’s Office will decide that as they are the agency handling the case.

For information on how to report something on this case to authorities, click here.

For more on what Klein covered in this interview, watch the video below:

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