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Buried Secrets: Son pleads for answers after his mother’s brutal unsolved murder

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- David Brownlee lives in Alabama now, but a part of him never left Colorado Springs. His mother was brutally murdered in her home near Palmer Park nearly nine years ago, but the case was never solved.

His mother, Joanne Brownlee, was 72 years old and had gone blind from glaucoma when she didn't show up to a family gathering in January of 2013.

"My sister said that my mom was at a blind person's convention up in Denver, and so I didn't have any reason to doubt her," David said. His sister lived with his mother at the time. David said his mom and sister bickered.

After a couple more weeks, when David still hadn't had a chance to speak to his mother, he reported her missing to police.

Joanne's purse showed up at a fast-food restaurant miles away from her home.

Then, police found Joanne. After a closer look inside her home, they found her body stuffed in the crawlspace of her home. The coroner believed she died from "homicidal violence." She had wounds to her face, broken ribs, and bruises on much of her body.

"How did it happen? Was it just a moment of violence?" David said. "That's kind of the puzzling thing for me still."

David said his sister was initially questioned by police, but then she stopped cooperating. To David's knowledge, no one has ever been listed as a suspect or person of interest in his mother's death.

KRDO made several attempts to confirm this information with Colorado Springs Police, but we were told this investigation is too active for police to comment or confirm any information.

We also made attempts to reach David's sister, but they were unsuccessful.

David said he lost touch with his sister soon after his mother's death. He said he doesn't even know if she's still alive.

"I lost two people. I lost my mom, and then I lost ... what I thought was a good relationship with my sister," David said.

Despite everything that's happened, David hopes to one day reconnect with his sister.

"I just would like to know what happened," David said.

As the years continue to pass, that hope is fading for David, as he tries to come to terms with the fact that he may never really know what happened to his mother.

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Sydnee Stelle

Sydnee is an MMJ for KRDO NewsChannel 13. You can learn more about her here.

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