Public Safety

Parents of missing Iowa teen, Corey Brown, plead for his return

Police believe Marshalltown boy ran away late Tuesday

A flyer alerting shoppers to be on the lookout for missing Corey Brown, 13, is stuffed into a grocery bag Thursday afternoon at a Fareway store in Marshalltown. (Adam Sodders/Times-Republican)
A flyer alerting shoppers to be on the lookout for missing Corey Brown, 13, is stuffed into a grocery bag Thursday afternoon at a Fareway store in Marshalltown. (Adam Sodders/Times-Republican)
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MARSHALLTOWN — The family of a teenage boy missing since he ran away Tuesday night made an emotional plea for his return, a message backed up Friday with the offer of a reward.

The family delivered the tearful message Thursday evening in the Marshalltown Public Library community room. Michelle and Craig Brown — mother and father of the missing Corey Brown, 13 — and older brother Sammy spoke.

“Corey, if you’re out there bud, you’re not in trouble, just come home,” Craig said.

Michelle had tears in her eyes as she tried to reach out to her son.

“Please, please just come home. We want you safe at home. We love you so much,” she said. “Parents, if this was your child, you’d want them home, too, and get Corey home to us please.”

Sammy, 16, said more people than just Corey’s immediate family want to know he is safe.

“It’s not just us that want you home, there are so many people who came over yesterday, just looking for you. And today, too,” he said.

Marshalltown Police Chief Mike Tupper said authorities are actively conducting a missing person investigation.

“We’re exploring all scenarios and possibilities,” he said. “We know of no evidence or information that indicates that any crimes have occurred here, or that Corey was abducted.”

Friday, the Marshall County Crime Stoppers offered a $1,000 reward for information on the teen. It teamed up with the Lennox Employees Credit Union to establish the reward.

Tupper said Marshalltown police, the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office, fire departments and other professionals are conducting a search. Tupper said there also is support from state and federal officials.

The search operations so far have focused on Marshalltown’s south side because that is where Corey lives and where he was last seen.

Bodies of water nearby have been searched multiple times and the agencies will continue searching them.

Tupper said he has heard from some in Marshalltown’s immigrant community that if they come forward with information they could be reported as undocumented. He said local agencies are interested only in information that could help lead to Corey.

Tupper said Corey ran away from home due to a “normal parental discussion … nothing extraordinary” that caused the boy to get upset and leave. Security camera footage showed him walking away from the home late Tuesday. He did not take his cellphone when he left.

Minuteman Printing’s Marshalltown location business operator Jonathan Bizios said the company is doing what it can to aid in the search.

“The owner of Minuteman has a close relationship with Corey’s grandmother. As a result, we have the means to help and this is something that we’re doing just … to try and find Corey,” Bizios said.

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As of Thursday afternoon, he said the company had printed about 1,500 flyers, for free, with a description of Corey and contact information for law enforcement.

One of the businesses displaying the flyers is Hy-Vee. Store manager Alex Holm said he hopes shoppers pay attention.

“We’re just trying to get as much exposure to the community as we possibly can,” he said. “We’re a big hub for people in town, so we figured we’d be a good spot for it.”

Corey is 5 feet tall and has brown hair. He was wearing a red shirt, black pants and gray shoes with a lime green Nike logo. His coat is black and lime green and matches his Seattle Seahawks stocking cap.

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We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.