Private investigator: Remains found in Raleigh belong to man missing since 2014

December 29, 2018

Raleigh police were investigating after human remains were discovered in the 1700 block of Ridge Road Thursday afternoon.

Authorities said a call came in about 11:55 a.m. about human remains being found in an area near Leroy Martin Middle School.

David Marshburn, a private investigator and director of investigations for Search for Me Foundation, said the remains are believed to be those of Andrew Thomas Browne.

Browne went missing in May 2014 after authorities said he threatened family members with a gun. Police spent a day searching for Browne near Lake Boone Trail on foot and from the air, but never found him.

After four years without answers, Browne’s family reached out to Marshburn, whose foundation is based in Smithfield and works “to answer the whisper of the missing,” over the summer to find their son.

“He explained it to me and I said, ‘Well, you know you’re in Raleigh. I think we can fit it in between cases somehow.’ I said, “But the problem is it’s summertime. We normally like to look in the winter because all the leaves die down and we can see,’” Marshburn said.

Marshburn said he and his partner went out at 11 a.m. Thursday and found the body at about 11:30 a.m. He believes the remains were found in an area that had been searched before.

“Based on what officers were saying, you know, the family they were all right there,” he said.

Marshburn said the clothing found with the remains matched the clothing Browne was last seen wearing.

After calling Browne’s parents, Marshburn called Raleigh police.

“You don’t want to disturb it, so the family can get true answers about what happened,” Marshburn said.

While it was a hard phone call to make, Marshburn said he hopes the Browne family will now have closure.

“One minute, you’re excited to tell him we brought closure to you, but still, I’m not him and I don’t know what he’s feeling now, so it’s kind of difficult to make that call,” he said.

Law enforcement authorities have not yet publicly said how the remains were found or confirmed the identity of the remains.

Anyone with information that might assist the investigation of the incident is asked to call Raleigh Crime Stoppers at 919-834-HELP.

Update hourly