US Army Veteran Vanished In 2009. Her Nephew Is The Main Suspect. Then, Her Brother Vanished In 2013.

The Vivid Faces of the Vanished
Hattie Gertrude BrownThe Charley Project

48-year old Hattie Brown, a graduate of Halifax County High School, was an Army veteran who participated in Desert Storm in 1991.

She was the first female in her unit to earn her air assault badge and the first female to attend Airborne School in North Carolina, reports The Gazette Virginian.

In 1998, she retired, with the rank of sergeant, to help her siblings take care of their elderly mother.

The Virginia resident was one of 11 siblings.

On May 16, 2009, Hattie's nephew, Derek Edward Brown, got a ride from his aunt, reports The Charley Project.

Hattie picked Derek up at the Sheetz gas station at Route 501 and Route 58 in Halifax, Virginia.

Hattie dropped Derek off at a party.

No one has seen or heard from Hattie again.
Hattie Gertrude BrownThe Charley Project

According to The Charley Project, she was last seen sitting in her running vehicle outside the party.

In July 2009, two months after she vanished, her brown 2003 Volkswagon Jetta was found.

The car was abandoned and burned on a farm located in the southeastern portion of Halifax county.

Authorities suspected only a local resident would use that location, reports The Charley Project.

Video surveillance showed Hattie, and her nephew, Derek, in her car at the Sheetz gas station at 2:33 am on the day she vanished, reports The Gazette Virginian.

Once authorities located her vehicle, investigators announced Derek Edward Brown as a suspect in the disappearance of his aunt.

"I think she did what anyone in my family would do. Go and help each other," her sister Preteasta Barksdale told WTVR. "I think when she got there, it turned out not to be what she thought it would be, but she went ahead and helped him with a ride."

Derek has a prior criminal record for destroying property, breaking and entering, and possession of burglary tools.

He has never been charged in connection with the disappearance of his aunt, Hattie Brown.

Then, in 2013, Hattie's brother, 61-year old James Brown, Jr., vanished from Clover, Virginia.

James was last seen on November 28, 2013.

He was seen walking near Neal's Corner Road in Cover, Virginia, reports The Charley Project.

Authorities do not believe their cases are connected.

According to The Gazette Virginian, three of Hattie's siblings have died since she disappeared.

"I believe they all died of a broken heart,” her sister Diane Brown told The Gazette Virginian. “It’s like we’ve all been asleep and then woke up, and it’s a terrible nightmare that won’t end…the not knowing.”

“Yes, it’s very painful, but we will forever hang on to love, faith, and hope. It’s by God’s grace and lots of prayers that we have the strength to face each day,” she said, reports The Gazette Virginian. “Please continue to keep us in your prayers,” Brown said. “They are appreciated.”

Hattie Brown was 5'4" and weighed 155 pounds when she vanished.

James Brown, Jr. was 6"0" and weighed 160 pounds when he vanished.

If you have any information about the disappearance of Hattie Brown or James Brown Jr. Please contact the Halifax County Sheriff's Office at 434-476-3339 or Virginia State Police at 434-352-7128.
James Brown, Jr.The Charley Project


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