Newton, TX

In 1987, This American Airlines Flight Attendant Vanished Without A Trace

The Vivid Faces of the Vanished
Regina F. BrownThe Charley Project

35-year-old Regina Brown and Willis Brown were married with three children and living in Newton, Connecticut. Regina was a flight attendant for American Airlines, and Willis was a pilot. Their marriage was "troubled," the Charley Project reports. Regina claimed they had domestic violence issues, and she separated from Willis, seeking a divorce from her abusive husband. She allowed Willis to visit their children, but Regina decided to send her children to stay with her parents in Texas. She sent two of her children, and on March 26, 1987, she drove the last child and babysitter to LaGuardia Airport in Queens, New York, and placed them on a plane to Texas. Regina obtained a court order barring Willis from her home, and Willis moved into an apartment in Queens, New York.

On the ride back to Newton, Regina called her best friend. She told her friend that if she was unable to reach her in a few days then Willis had "done to me what he promised to do to me," the Charley Project reports.

On March 27, 1987, a neighbor called the police to report that Regina's dog was barking non-stop. Authorities never sent officers out. Then her employer contacted her parents to report that Regina had missed two American Airlines assignments. They contacted her best friend and requested she check on Regina.

On April 2, 1987, her best friend went to her residence on Whippoorwill Hill Road. The garage door was open, her airline ID badge and a check for $1,000 was in the house, the floors were covered in dog feces, her dog was alone, and there was a bowl of water and an unopened bag of dog food. The dog food was not the brand Regina normally purchased. Willis said he purchased the dog food on March 26 and left the bag at Regina's house. Both Willis and her best friend reported Regina missing.

Willis, a senior airline pilot with American Airlines, suggested the authorities look for her car in a drug-infested area of Manhattan, the Charley Project reports. Then, on April 6, 1987, authorities located her bronze Honda Accord on 104th Street in Manhattan. The car had several parking tickets on the windshield, car seats in the back, and the keys were in the ignition. For some reason, authorities didn't search Regina's home until May 7, 1987, six weeks after she vanished.

In June 1987, Willis drove to Texas and forcibly took his children back to Connecticut. Three weeks later, a judge ordered he return the children back to Texas. Like with his first wife, Willis accused Regina of being a drug abuser, of cheating with numerous men-including their marriage counselor, and said their children weren't really his, the Charley Project reports. A paternity test proved all three children belonged to Willis. Willis sought custody of his children, but a judge granted custody to Regina's parents in Texas in April 1988.

Willis owned a small plane that police were unable to locate until 2008. They were unable to locate any evidence connected to Regina from the plane. Willis was never charged in the disappearance of Regina, no suspects have been named in her disappearance, and Regina has never been found.

Regina Brown is 5'3" and weighed 115 pounds when she vanished.

Please contact the Newton PD with any information at 203-426-5841.

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