Philip Klein Investigations announced Tuesday that a search for evidence in Thomas Brown’s disappearance will be conducted in a specific area near Canadian on Saturday, Oct. 14.
A call for volunteers to assist with the search was issued last week on social media, before the date of the search had been determined. According to lead investigator Philip Klein, the call yielded offers to help from 250 volunteers before the Sept. 27 deadline to accept applications.
Those who have already volunteered to help with the search, but who will for any reason not be available on Oct. 14, are being asked to notify Klein Investigations via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, so that more volunteers can be contacted, if needed.
Klein said the list of volunteers will be thoroughly vetted, and whittled down by half. Anyone with any relationship to the case will be excluded. Those with secondary skills that might be helpful will be given priority.
He emphasized that they are not looking for a body, telling The Record, “We are looking for a couple of evidentiary pieces—pieces that we’ve been told by a witness had been found out there before, by accident.” Not realizing their significance at the time, the witness did not keep the pieces of evidence, but has since reported having seen them, and has provided very credible information.
“We know what we’re looking for. We believe it’s out there, and will see if we can come up with it,” Klein said. “If we do, it will lead us to another step in the case.”
The search his team is planning will be what is known as a line-walk, Klein said. “We will announce the location through email to the people we select,” he said. “The search will be foot-by-foot, very tedious work.”
The volunteers who are involved must be self-sufficient. To be considered, a volunteer must be able to walk in high grass for at least 1.5 miles and carry his own water. Searchers will need to wear high boots, gloves and proper outer wear. The search will be conducted on foot. Those offering to search on horseback or ATV will be notified if they are needed.
“We have progressed the case,” Klein said. “We have two people we are looking at. We do not have a person of interest, yet, but we are headed that direction quickly.” Klein said his office has maintained active communication with law enforcement, “as we always have.”
Tom disappeared in the early morning hours of Thanksgiving 2016—44 weeks ago today—and has not been seen or heard from since. Extensive searches were conducted of the immediate area where his vehicle was found abandoned later that morning, followed by more extensive searches by air, on horseback, and on foot, and using K-9 teams.
After conducting several days of searches with a specially-trained cadaver dog and his handler in April, Klein concluded there was a 90 percent chance that Brown was dead. He said then that he believed the case is solvable, adding, “All we need is a little piece, then another, and we’ve got the whole picture.”
After the Oct. 14 search, Klein hopes to have those pieces.
A $40,000 reward is being offered to anyone
with information that may help locate Thomas Brown.
If you have information you believe might be helpful,
please contact the Hemphill County Sheriff’s Office
at 806.323.5326, or contact Klein Investigations
by calling 409.729.8798.