KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A father of six was gunned down in his car on Easter Sunday. His wife begging for answers for their kids.
Leann and Deland Brown moved to the metro from Michigan when they got married seven years ago. In fact, the day before he was killed in April, they had just celebrated their anniversary.
“We just kind of became a big blended family. He was a real loving father. He stepped up where a father was needed with my children,” Leann said. “He was a hard worker. He worked different construction jobs and odds and ends. He was just the kind of guy that would’ve helped you with anything.”
Maybe that’s why he was off East 2nd and Lydia in the Northland April 21, while Leann was at work.
“For him to be all the way downtown and be that far downtown, you know, it was just kind of odd,” Leann said. “I talked to him about 3:40 on the phone and everything seemed normal. When I woke up the next morning and he still hadn’t been home is when I started getting worried and calling around trying to find out where he was.”
By 3:00 the next afternoon, she’d gotten a call from detectives.
Detective Chris Smith remembers collecting evidence that Easter Sunday. Deland had been shot in his car. No wallet, no ID, and no cash.
“People were out and about, not at work, and it was still daylight,” Smith said. “So there should have been people in the area if not walking around the driving around through there.”
While they still need witnesses to fill in the pieces, investigators say they’re not far.
“There was physical evidence at the scene that is helping us, that like I said, the crime lab is working on those things and I’ve had some pretty good feedback from them as far as where the results are headed.”
Leann said it’s a terrible thing to tell your child.
“I had to tell my kids that their dad is gone, you know? And then I had to call, you know, to Georgia where my other two kids are and even his mom to tell them. I had to be that person that calls and passes on that devastation to each person,” Leann said. “We’re all going to counseling. We’re all just trying to pull together best we can, you know, we really didn’t plan for this.”
“While Leann and her family struggle to figure out a new life plan without their beloved husband and father, detectives are working on finding the person who pulled the trigger.
“It’s always our greatest achievement when we can call a family member and say we have somebody in custody and the prosecutor’s office had charged that person with the crime,” Smith said. “Just do the right thing. You may have seen something and didn’t know it. You could have been going to your car. You could have been going in the house or happening to look out the window. If you know anything, just come forward and help us find some kind of closure.”
If you know what happened to either of these men, please call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-8477. You can also submit a tip online here.