The remains of a Texas high school student who mysteriously disappeared the day before Thanksgiving more than two years ago have been found.
Klein Investigations and Consulting, a private detective agency investigating the case, announced Tuesday that the remains of Thomas Brown, 18, had been found along Lake Marvin Road. Brown's identity had been confirmed through dental records.
"We ask for prayers for our family, Thomas's friends and our community," Penny Kendall-Meek, Brown's mother, told Dateline after news of the discovery had been announced. "We are heartbroken."
While Brown's family now has some closure after the teen vanished in November of 2016, there are still many unanswered questions about how Brown died and the circumstances around his mysterious disappearance.
Klein Investigations and Consulting said in a press release announcing the discovery of Brown's body that the investigation is now in a "new phase" and stressed that anyone who knows anything about the case needs "to come forward now."
Brown had been missing since November 23, 2016 when he failed to come home for his midnight curfew in Canadian, Texas.
“Thomas never missed curfew. He would even come home well before curfew, and then he and his friends would play video games,” his mother told Dateline in November 2018.
Brown had dropped two of his friends off around 11:25 p.m. that night after the three had ridden together in what one of the friends would later call a regular night, according to a 2017 article in the Amarillo Globe-News. He was then captured on video surveillance footage stopping to get gas, but that would be the last known sighting of the teen.
His vehicle was also captured on surveillance footage three times between 4:41 a.m. and 4:43 a.m., but it was unclear in the footage who was driving the car, the local paper reports.
Early the next morning his car was discovered near a sewage pond four miles from Brown's home after a friend had gone up in a helicopter with her father to look for the teen's car.
His mother said her son would have had no reason to be in the remote area. There was no sign of Brown, and his phone, laptop, backpack and keys had been taken from the car.
Two months later, Brown's backpack was found by a search party four miles away from where the car had been located, KVII reports.
Nearly a year after he had disappeared, in October of 2017, another search party discovered his iPhone, a small caliber pistol pouch and clothing. The phone was found nine miles from where his car had been discovered, the station reports.
Brown's remains were found on Lake Marvin Road, not far from Lake Marvin, an area where investigator Philip Klein had told the Amarillo Globe-News in 2017 he suspected the car had been.
"We think the car was out there (Marvin), that it was driven back, and someone threw his backpack out," Klein said at the time. "We do not believe he disappeared. We believe he is deceased and it happened at Lake Marvin."
The release from the private investigator noted the remains were discovered by someone who had heard that investigators were asking people to keep an eye out for evidence along Lake Marvin Road.
Brown's cause of death has not yet been announced.
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