Prosecutors reveal details in case of ex-NFL player charged in mom's murder

In a proffer read in court Wednesday, prosecutors revealed a timeline of how the case unfolded, offering details behind the unusual circumstances that started as a missing person report in September

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New details behind the mysterious case involving a former NFL player now charged with murder in the death of his 73-year-old mother in a Chicago suburb were revealed in court Wednesday.

Sergio Brown, 35, was formally charged Tuesday by Maywood police with first-degree murder and concealment of a dead body in the death of his mother, whose body was found last month near her suburban Chicago home.

In a proffer read in court Wednesday, prosecutors revealed a timeline of how the case unfolded, offering details behind the unusual circumstances that started as a missing person report in September.

According to the proffer, Myrtle Brown, Sergio Brown's mother, was last seen alive around 6 p.m. on Sept. 14 at the home the two shared. After that, her other son, identified only as a witness in the case, noted that he stopped receiving text messages from his mother and began to worry as the days went on.

In the morning of Sept. 16, the other son went to Myrtle Brown's house "but no one appeared to be home," and there were no signs of forced entry, the proffer stated.

The son then returned to the house several hours later and met with police, who quickly noticed blood on the back patio, prosecutors said.

"At this time both the victim and the offender were deemed missing because neither could be located," the proffer stated.

Neighbors started searching the area and one found Myrtle Brown's body about 100 to 150 feet from her back door.

An autopsy revealed Myrtle Brown had suffered several injuries from an assault, and her death was ruled a homicide, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Prosecutors then said that a search of the Browns' home revealed "suspect Ajax in the bathtub drain possibly indicative of it recently being cleaned," and Myrtle Brown's iPad, credit cards and phones were missing. Her cigarettes, however, were left behind.

Prosecutors also said cameras in the area captured Sergio Brown burning items in a firepit in the evening hours of Sept. 14, where burnt fabric was later discovered. On Sept. 15, both Myrtle Brown and Sergio Brown's phones stopped pinging entirely and Sergio Brown booked a one-way ticket to Cancun. He flew out during the early morning hours of Sept. 15.

On Sept. 19, a Maywood police spokesperson said police were aware of Instagram videos that appeared to show Brown discussing the recent death of his mother.

One such video posted to an Instagram page that appeared to belong to Brown shows a man resembling Brown calling reports about the death of his 73-year-old mother “fake news.”

“Fake news, fake news, fake news. It has to be the FBI,” the man says in the rambling, expletive-filled video, in which he says he thought his mother “was on vacation” in the Mexican state of Sinaloa.

In another video posted to the same account's Instagram story, the man references the film “Finding Nemo,” repeating the movie’s famous line, “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming,” the Chicago Tribune reported.

It wasn't until Oct. 7 that Mexican authorities detained Sergio Brown in Mexico City and deported him to San Diego, where he was found in possession of Myrtle Brown's iPad, credit and bank cards and cell phone, prosecutors said.

A search of charges on Myrtle Brown's cards revealed purchases for Airbnb reservations in Colombia, one of which was scheduled for Oct. 6.

Myrtle Brown’s family issued a statement through an attorney following the news of Sergio Brown’s arrest:

“We are also heartened by the news that Sergio Brown has been apprehended and returned to the United States unharmed. Our family is prayerful that, as the investigation progresses, more answers will become available, shedding light on the circumstances surrounding this heartbreaking incident,” the statement reads.

On Oct. 24, Sergio Brown was transported from San Diego to Maywood, where he was formally charged in the case.

Sergio Brown's public defender argued in court that the evidence in the case is circumstantial and requested he be released. Still, a Cook County judge deemed Brown a threat to others, as well as a community and flight risk, NBC Chicago's Regina Waldroup reported from the courtroom. As a result, Brown will remain detained.

A new court hearing is set for Nov. 22.

Sergio Brown, who graduated from Proviso East High School in Maywood, played college football for Notre Dame before his time with the NFL. He played defensive back from 2010 through 2016 with the New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars and Buffalo Bills.

Maywood, Illinois, is approximately 12 miles west of Chicago.

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