10 years later: Ayden Cold Case remains unsolved - WRBL

10 years later: Ayden Cold Case remains unsolved

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AYDEN, N.C. -

August 6th 2003. Construction crews working along Highway 102 in Ayden had no clue what they were about to find. Human bones were buried beneath the dirt.

Who did they belong to? Investigators with the Pitt County Sheriff's Office thought they knew.

"The word that we had gotten up to that point was that this person that was missing from Ayden was supposed to have been buried out in that general area," said Detective Shannon Stewart.

But the case eventually took a turn. It wasn't who they thought. In 2006 detectives linked jewelry and DNA to 35-year-old Donald Brown.

Autopsy reports show someone shot Brown, possibly multiple times. He was a contract worker for Cox Communications in Greenville. Brown moved to North Carolina to support his wife and three young children who lived in Georgia. The last place anyone saw him was at a Greenville Apartment complex in 2002.

"He was happy that night that I spoke with him and then that Sunday I called and he didn't pick up the phone. It just went right to his voicemail," said Brown's wife, Sonji.

In a 2006 interview, Sonji told 9 on your side her world was turned upside down that day.

"I knew nothing really. I remember my baby said to me ‘Did daddy just abandon us?' I had no answer for her," she said.

From the beginning Detective Karen Kilpatrick, who has since passed away, had her suspicions.

"I think Mr. Brown knew the person," she said in 2006.

Now with a fresh set of eyes investigating the case…

"There are leads and there are suspects," said Detective Shannon Stewart.

There's also hope. Hope for answers for the family Donald Brown left behind. Hope justice will be served to the person who took him away.

"If they have a heart come forward and pay for what they did," said Sonji.

If you have any information about this case call the Pitt County Sheriff's Office: (252) 902-2800 OR Crimestoppers: (252) 758-7777.

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