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Community shaken by death of missing teen

Corey Brown

TIMES-REPUBLICAN

The Marshalltown community had held onto hope all week that missing teen Corey Brown would be found and brought home to his family. But everyone’s worst fear was confirmed Sunday afternoon.

Corey was found dead Sunday morning in a secluded area on the west side of Marshalltown, Marshalltown Police Chief Mike Tupper said in the release Sunday afternoon.

Corey, 13, had been missing since Tuesday night. The Marshalltown community had rallied to help find him and support his family as authorities searched the city.

A press conference is not being planned at this time, Tupper said, and the family requested everyone honor and respect their privacy. Nearly every local emergency agency was involved in the five–day search in frigid temperatures with blowing snow.

Corey leaves behind his parents Michelle and Craig Brown and an older brother Sammy. An eighth–grader at Miller Middle School, Corey was known as a bright, kind and friendly kid. He ran cross–country, volunteered at his church and wore a smile almost everywhere he went.

“We are saddened to learn of the death of one of our students,” Marshalltown Community School District said in a statement. “Our thoughts and deepest condolences go out to the Brown family and those close to Corey. He was loved by many and will be deeply missed. We will continue to offer additional counselors at Miller Middle School and Marshalltown High School to assist those in need.”

“Our hearts bleed for the Brown family. The whole city and all well-wishers will keep them in our thoughts and continue our prayers for them,” Mayor Joel Greer said in a Facebook post.

Corey’s parents reported him missing Wednesday morning when they woke up and found he was not in his bedroom. Security footage showed that he left the house about 11 p.m. Tuesday during a winter weather advisory. He did not have his cell phone with him.

After learning he was missing, Marshalltown community members immediately took to sharing the message on social media. By Wednesday afternoon, hundreds of community members had gathered at St. Henry Catholic Church to volunteer to help find him. Tupper later told the group the best thing they could do was share the message on social media because volunteers could impede the investigators’ search.

In the days following, community members did whatever they could to make sure people knew Corey was missing. Fliers were posted in local businesses. The school and other community organizations promoted wearing green — his favorite color — and passed out ribbons. His parents and brother gave an emotional public statement Thursday night in hopes he may hear it and come home.

The Marshalltown Police Department was assisted in the investigation by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, Marshall County Sheriff’s Office, Marshalltown Fire Department, Iowa State Patrol, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Marshalltown Public Works, Marshall County 911, Marshall County Crime Stoppers, Marshall County Emergency Management, Marshall County CERT, Star 1 Search & Rescue, Story County Emergency Management, Story County Sheriff’s Office, Marion County Sheriff’s Office and countless area fire and EMS departments.

“The police department sincerely appreciates the innumerable hours put in by all of these partners during the search for Corey,” Tupper said in the release. “These agencies all provided exceptionally professional service under very difficult conditions. The public safety team wishes to thank the Marshalltown/Marshall County community for all of their support during this difficult investigation. Our Savior Lutheran Church allowed public safety to operate out of their church for three days. We sincerely appreciate their generous hospitality.

“Countless other groups, organizations and individuals provided logistical and resource support. Thank you. The community has rallied behind the Brown family and all of public safety. The community support has been nothing short of phenomenal.”