Birmingham mother won’t give up in search for her missing son
by Rachel Davis
Jul 28, 2013 | 3692 views | 0 0 comments | 59 59 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Carolyn Lassiter sits at the memorial fountain on the square in downtown Jasper looking at a photo of her son DeAndre Brown, who went missing  on July 28, 2005. Lassiter continues her search for her only son. Daily Mountain Eagle - Rachel Davis
Carolyn Lassiter sits at the memorial fountain on the square in downtown Jasper looking at a photo of her son DeAndre Brown, who went missing on July 28, 2005. Lassiter continues her search for her only son. Daily Mountain Eagle - Rachel Davis
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Carolyn Lassiter awoke in the early morning hours of July 29, 2005, upset and suddenly in tears. She called her aging parents and her siblings to check on them.

Then, still uneasy and upset, she called her only son, 22-year-old DeAndre Brown, as dawn broke.

When he didn’t answer, she called his father and was told her son never returned home the night before.

When she called his job, they told her he hadn’t shown up for work. Lassiter then called Birmingham police, who laughed her off and said she was being overprotective. She didn’t fare much better with Jasper police, who told her it was simply too early to take action.

In desperation, Lassiter then went to the Walker County District Attorney’s Office and found investigators John Softley and Frank Cole. Lassiter remembers Softley telling her that he believed in a mother’s intuition.

The investigators then pulled cell phone records and began looking for Brown.

The last place they could confirm anyone seeing Brown was a residence on Pine Street in Jasper. Their search then led them to a call received by the Carbon Hill Police Department regarding the sound of shots fired the night before.

A search of the area turned up bloody clothes just off of 5th Court North. DNA analysis would later determine the blood was Brown’s.

A few weeks later, the investigators would also find Brown’s car in a Birmingham Police impound lot. Two days after he was last seen, the vehicle had been found burned near Rickwood Field and had been in the care of Birmingham police since then.

But still no body or any other indication of what happened to her son.

Softley said there have been numerous searches over the years, but none of them have yielded any additional clues.

“We have spoken to and interviewed a lot of people in the disappearance of DeAndre,” Softley said. “We continue to interview and speak to a lot of people, but so far we have not been able to locate Mr. Brown.”

District Attorney Bill Adair said he believes they have a person of interest in the murder of Brown who has lied to them on multiple occasions, but he needs the help of the public to bring the killer to justice and give Lassiter some closure.

“I would request that anybody with information in this case come forward,” Adair said. “I know sometimes people are reluctant to come forward, but if they think about the grief of this mother and prayed about it, they would come forward.”

In a letter about her son and his disappearance, Lassiter praised Adair as “a true man of God, with compassion and understanding.”

She also praised Softley and Cole, who have worked with her every step of the way.

Lassiter knows she’ll never see her son alive again, but hopes to at least gain some closure by finding and burying her son.

“I just want somebody to come and tell me where he is,” Lassiter said.

In the letter she wrote, a section addressed to his killer, “You took my grandson’s father, my son, our family. Everyone loved DeAndre. All I am asking is for you to give him to us, his family that cares for him. Please let the healing begin, in Jesus’ name.”

Anyone with information on this case can contact Jasper police at 221-2121 or the district attorney’s office at 384-7272.