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Police Revisiting Disappearance Of Regina Brown



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Town police are revisiting the Regina Brown missing person case, seeking new clues in trying to learn what happened to the 35-year-old American Airlines flight attendant, who went missing from her Whippoorwill Hill Road home in 1987.The Disappearance

Starting on May 31, police stationed themselves at the end of that dead-end street, which extends from Mt Pleasant Road, in seeking clues at an undeveloped overgrown tract of rolling terrain lying generally north and west of that road.

Police had cadaver search dogs on hand on the morning of June 2. The German shepherds have been trained to focus their very sensitive sense of small on detecting the buried remains of humans.

Town public works department staffers stood nearby with heavy equipment designed to cut brush and remove trees, if required, for the search.

In a statement on the police activity off Whippoorwill Hill Road, Police Chief James Viadero on June 2 said, "The only thing that we can elaborate on is that we are diligently working on the case. The search on Whippoorwill (Hill Road) is in conjunction with the (Brown) case, and we will be searching the area for evidence for several more days.

"The case is active and remains a priority with this agency. Due to the fact it is an open investigation and sensitive in nature we cannot elaborate further," the chief added.

"We will share any new developments that change the status of the case, as soon as it is practical to do so," he said.

Ms Brown lived at 18 Whippoorwill Hill Road. On March 30, 1987, she failed to show up for work on a scheduled flight.

In 1995, Ms Brown was declared legally dead by probate court, but her body has never been found.

Ms Brown, the mother of three young children, was last seen on March 26, 1987.

"Regina Brown was involved in a divorce, and had dropped off her daughter and babysitter at LaGuardia Airport. She was then supposed to have returned home to Newtown,"   according to a police summary of her disappearance.

When Ms Brown missed work on another flight, on April 3, 1987, the airline contacted her estranged husband Willis Brown, Jr, then 53, an American Airlines pilot who was then living in Queens, N.Y. He called the Newtown police later that day to file a missing person report.

At the time of Ms Brown's disappearance, the Browns were going through a contentious divorce and child custody battle. They had been married for less than five years, living all of that time in Newtown.

After Ms Brown disappeared, Newtown police and state police searched the Brown residence on Whippoorwill Hill Road and also searched the grounds of surrounding properties, including a nearby large undeveloped tract, but found no evidence of foul play.

Ms Brown's 1980 Honda was found on April 6, 1987, in New York City with the keys still in the ignition. The vehicle had several parking violation tags on the windshield. Police transported the Honda back to Connecticut for forensic testing, but it yielded no significant evidence.

The police questioned Mr Brown when they learned that he had come to Newtown from Queens on March 26 for a dental appointment. He told police that he went to his Queens apartment immediately after the appointment.

Mr Brown agreed to take a polygraph test - provided that it was administered after the divorce proceedings were concluded - but he later changed his mind and refused.

Mr Brown now lives out of state.

After Regina Brown disappeared, police and news reports noted similarities between her case and that of another Newtown flight attendant, Helle Crafts, 39, who had disappeared several months earlier, in November 1986.

Both woman were flight attendants, married to airline pilots, and were going through divorce proceedings. In each case, relatives and friends insisted the women would not have willingly abandoned their children.

While the Brown case remains unsolved, Ms Crafts' husband, Richard, was convicted of killing his wife, cutting up her body with a chainsaw, and then disposing of the parts with a rented woodchipper.

He is serving a 50-year sentence on a murder conviction. On June 3, Mr Crafts, 78, was being held at a state prison in Suffield.

The handler of a cadaver search dog controls a German shepherd on Whippoorwill Hill Road on June 2. (Bee Photo, Gorosko)
A dog handler for a cadaver dog search team is seen at the rear of the town police department's command vehicle, which is used for evidence collection. The vehicle was parked at the end of the dead-end Whippoorwill Hill Road on the morning of June 2 as part of the town police's ongoing investigation into the disappearance of Regina Brown from a nearby home on that street in 1987. (Bee Photo, Gorosko)
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