Kevin Charles Brown has committed suicide before law enforcement officials could arrest him on criminal murder charges. Brown, a crime lab employee and longtime official for the San Diego Police Department, killed himself this week after learning he was accused of the murder of a 14-year-old girl over 30 years ago. People News reports this Thursday, October 30, 2014, that police have revealed the suspect knew he was being investigated, and may have hung himself to avoid being charged with the crime.
In a shocking end to the investigation, the Kevin Charles Brown suicide comes as the latest twist regarding a 1984 murder case. The 62-year-old man is stated to have killed himself by hanging in order to escape authorities from charging him with the brutal crime.
“He knew he was under investigation,” San Diego Police Department Lt. Paul Rorrison tells PEOPLE of retired criminalist Kevin Charles Brown, 62. “Unfortunately, he committed suicide before we could take him into custody.”
It may have taken over three decades to come to light, but Brown recently became a potential suspect in the murder of 14-year-old Claire Hough back in 2012. The details are gruesome, but Hough was murdered back in 1984. The teen girl had been physically violated, stabbed numerous times — with one of her breasts removed — and finally strangled. Her mutilated body was discovered to have been stuffed in a garbage bag under a bridge.
Although detectives launched a full investigation, the chilling case soon went cold. New evidence was unearthed in 2012, when a DNA analysis found a shocking “hit” between Kevin Charles Brown and the death of a 67-year-old man. The genetic material link enabled police officials to draw a connection between the potential killer and Claire Hough.
According to Today News Gazette, a group of armed officials and detectives swarmed Brown’s home in January of 2013, taking computers and other potential forms of evidence. Some speculated that Kevin Charles Brown’s DNA link may have been a result of his work in the crime lab for the San Diego Police Department, and nothing more than a protocol mistake. Law enforcement authorities, say that this is certainly not the case.
“He didn’t work with any of the evidence in this case and we have absolute confidence that there is no basis for any cross-contamination or anything of that sort,” said a police spokesperson.
The late suspect’s wife, Rebecca, does not believe that her husband committed the gruesome murder of the 14-year-old girl so many years ago. She believes that Kevin Charles Brown’s suicide by hanging was a result of the continual pressure and shame her husband felt being under such intense scrutiny for so long. The high school teacher shared in a statement:
“He was just a nice, gentle, quiet man and they pushed him over the edge,” she shared with People News. The ongoing stress eventually “took its toll” on her poor husband, leading him to deciding to kill himself this October.
According to Rebecca’s testimony, her husband firmly believed there was an oversight with his work in the lab, and that his DNA mysteriously managed to get into the Hough case file. The connection between Brown and the 67-year-old man in the 2012 case — who died in a boating accident — has not been determined, police concluded.
“That’s one of our mysteries,” Lt. Rorrison said on behalf of the department. “What links them together is their DNA at the crime scene.”
In light of the Kevin Charles Brown suicide, some detectives have drawn some unnerving comparisons between Hough’s death and the murder of a 15-year-old girl named Barbara Nantais, who was killed sometime in 1978 (only several years before the former crime). Nantais’ body was discovered less than 1000 feet from Hough’s under the San Diego bridge, and some similarities between their deaths cannot been ignored. She had also been physically attached, strangled, and one of her breasts was fully cut off. However, there remains virtually no evidence connecting the two parallel cases at this point.
“At this point,” concluded the law enforcement authority, “we have nothing linking that other case – the Nantais murder – with this one.”