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A former Owen County resident will face a preliminary hearing Thursday after police discovered the remains of his sister in the truck of his car.
Timothy Brown, 30, was arrested in St. Louis, Mo., after a missing persons report had been filed in regards to his sister, Penny Brown, who suffered from cerebral palsy.
On Nov. 6, Timothy Brown pleaded not guilty abusing or neglecting an adult in connection with the discovery of his sister’s mummified body in the trunk of his car.
Police said Penny Brown was released from Georgetown Health Care Center more than two years ago. During that period, few people saw the wheel-chair bound woman.
Despite the fact Penny Brown apparently dropped out of sight, her Social Security checks, which ranged from $600 to $700 a month, continued to be delivered and cashed.
Police allege her brother hid her death and cashed the checks himself.
It was a Sept. 19 investigation by the Department of Community Based Services into the home life of Timothy Brown’s 8-year-old son that ultimately lead to the discovery of Penny Brown’s body.
After the investigation found deplorable conditions in Timothy Brown’s apartment, police filed charges against him for endangering the welfare of a minor.
But Timothy Brown couldn’t be found.
Nearly a month later on Oct. 18, Timothy Brown’s car was found in St. Louis. When the car was hauled back to Georgetown, the body of Penny Brown was discovered wrapped in quilts and plastic sheeting.
Gary Wayne Brumley, who has known the Brown family for over 20 years, said he was shocked by the charges against Timothy.
“They’re a good family,” Brumley said. “I never thought something like this could have happened. Seems like if Penny was in trouble, Tim would have taken her back to the nursing home.”
Brumley said there was never problems with the Brown family.
“As far as Tim, he never was violent or anything. I never heard a bad thing about him,” Brumley said. “They were just good people.”
Penny Brown, Brumley said, was “as helpless as a baby.”
If something happened to her, she wouldn’t be able to help herself, Brumley said.
“She couldn’t feed herself,” Brumley said. “She was just like a child. There is no way should could defend herself if something happened to her.”
Brumley said his mother, Barbara Jean Brumley, told him she saw Timothy Brown’s car at the Brown family home in September.
“When this all came out, we started wondering if Penny was in the car when Tim was here,” Brumley said. “We didn’t know if we should call the police or what. It’s just a terrible thing for everyone involved.”
Because of the condition of the body, Scott County officials said it would be difficult to determine an exact cause of death.
Georgetown Police Det. Brian Moore said Timothy Brown will appear in Scott County Circuit Court Thursday at 1:30 p.m. for a preliminary hearing. Eventually, the case will be heard by the Scott County grand jury.
Moore said he doesn’t expect Timothy Brown’s $12,000 full cash bond reduced at the hearing.
“There could be more charges, such as endangering the welfare of a minor or abuse of a corpse,” Moore said. “We’ll have to see.”
Moore said federal investigators could also post more charges against Brown in connection with the cashing of his sister’s disability checks.
At this point, no charges directly related to the death of Penny Brown have been filed.
Moore said police are waiting on more forensic reports, such as the toxicology results, before considering charges related to the causes of Penny Brown’s death.
“We simply don’t know right now,” Moore said.