An Iowa police chief blasted online speculation about the death of a 13-year-old boy, whose body was found five days after he ran away from home following an argument with his parents over a cellphone.
Marshalltown police said in a statement Sunday that the body of Corey Brown — who had been missing since Jan. 22 — was found in a secluded area of the town early that morning.
“At this time, there is no evidence or information that indicates criminal activity is connected to this missing person/death investigation. However, this is still an active investigation and all possible scenarios will be thoroughly investigated,” police said in the statement.
Iowa is currently in the midst of a “once-in-a-generation” cold snap and temperatures have been at or below freezing for the past week.
In a press conference Thursday, Marshalltown Chief of Police Michael Tupper said that Corey left his parents’ house on the night of Jan. 22 after having a “disciplinary discussion” in which his phone was taken away. He said that there had been no proof of any big fight or argument between Corey and his parents.
“I can’t emphasize enough that this speculation about why he left ... it’s not a fair depiction,” the chief said Monday. “Nothing extraordinary happened at home that caused this to occur.”
The Brown family requested privacy in a statement through the police department Sunday and thanked law enforcement officials and the Marshalltown community for their efforts to find Corey.
In a guest column in the Iowa Times-Republican on Tuesday, Tupper wrote that he was disappointed by the way this tragedy had been covered by the national media.
“They have sensationalized, and inaccurately reported, irrelevant details in an effort to hint someone must be to blame. Some keyboard warriors on social media have done the same. They all have lacked basic human decency as they push out their theories and speculation. It must stop. This is wrong,” Tupper wrote.
“The Brown family deserves, and needs our support, our love. They deserve compassion. There is nobody to blame here, folks. Corey Brown did nothing wrong. The Brown family did nothing wrong. They were the victims of unfortunate circumstances that could have just as easily visited our own families. Tragedy sometimes just happens. All you can do is support one another. As community members, we must rise up to support the unfortunate souls touched by tragic events.”