Ramona Lynn Brown

Left: Ramona circa, 1984

Right: Age-Progressed to age 34

Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

Missing Since: March 6, 1984

Missing From: New Orleans, Orleans Parish, Louisiana

Classification: Non-Family Abduction

Date of Birth: August 23, 1980

Age: 3 years old

Height and Weight: 2’8″ – 3’1″ and 26-30 pounds

Distinguishing Characteristics: African American female, Black hair, Brown eyes, some agencies might spell Ramona’s first name as “Remona”

NCMEC Number: 1246941

Details of Disappearance

Ramona was last seen in New Orleans, Louisiana on March 6th 1984. She lived with her two parents, Johnnie Mae and Aubrey Brown, and her nine brothers and sisters at their home located in the 2600 block of Memorial Drive in Algiers. At some point in the early morning hours, a fire erupted at the home.

One of Ramona’s older sisters, Pamela Nickerson, said she didn’t smell anything suspicious but when she looked up she noticed the flames erupting around the house. She started kicking and screaming for everyone to wake up and get out of the house. Seven of the older children made it out of the house but two of Ramona’s brothers, 4 year old Aubrey Jr. and 2 year old Kevin, were killed in the fire.

Johnnie Mae was screaming during the fire that her babies were trapped inside and that she needed help to get them. She went to several neighbors after she and other family members escaped but it was too late. Aubrey had to hold her from trying to enter the burning home to get to her children who were trapped inside.

After firefighters arrived and put out the house fire, they found the bodies of Aubrey Jr. and Kevin in the ruins of the residence. Pamela Nickerson stated that the fire initially started in the girls bedroom where Ramona was believed to be sleeping alone. Police and fire personnel believed that she too had died in the fire.

A third set of remains were found in the home that were thought to be Ramona’s. They were sent to the coroners office along with the remains of her two deceased brothers for examination. After analyzing the third set of remains, they were determined to have belonged to an animal and were not human or those of Ramona. As a result of this, the ruins of the home were searched several more times for her remains.

The searches yielded some bones that were later determined to belong to mice. No other human remains were found at the scene and most firefighters doubt the house fire was enough to completely incinerate Ramona’s body had she died in the fire. The fire took a half hour to consume the entire house and incinerate it. Firefighters arrived seven minutes after the fire was reported and put it out.

This leads investigators to believe Ramona did not die in the fire but no one can recall seeing her after the fire besides one of her sisters, Simona, who was six years old at the time. Simona stated that Ramona did in fact make it out of the fire with everyone else and that they walked away from the scene to clear their minds. Simona said that as they were walking, a bronze colored old looking Cadillac pulled up next to them.

Simona said that the occupants of the vehicle were an older black man and an old white woman. The two offered to watch Ramona saying “We’ll watch her for y’all.” Simona said this type of generosity was common in their neighborhood at the time so she didn’t question it at the time. Ramona got into the car with the unidentified couple before the car drove away with her. She was never seen again after this.

Simona said she didn’t tell anyone about this at the time because she was so grief stricken by the loss of her two younger brothers. However, from a young age she did tell family members about the encounter since the police didn’t find Ramona’s body in the ruins of their home. As she got older, she continued to tell the same story and continues to today.

Ramona’s paternal grandmother, Dorothy Nickerson, said she also heard from the child after the fire had occurred. Three days after the fire, Dorothy got a call from someone and when she answered it, she said “hello” and the person on the other end responded with “Ma!” She then asked who the person was to which they responded “Al.” This is a nickname that family members called Ramona by. After she heard this, Nickerson asked “Al, where you at?” She said after this she didn’t hear anymore and she suspects whoever let Ramona call her took the phone away.

Johnnie Mae also believed her daughter is alive. The family also held this belief and even rebuilt their home where the fire occurred in 1984 in the case that Ramona ever returned. The house apparently caught fire twice in the years after, the last fire at the home occurred in 1993. No one was injured in those incidents. Neighbors at the time recalled hearing that Ramona was given to someone and was still alive.

Despite the fact that her body wasn’t recovered, there was never an official missing persons report on file for Ramona. After years of trying to find her on their own, her family contacted police in 2018 and filed a missing persons report. They have also submitted their DNA to ancestry in hopes that it could lead to Ramona through a match.

Ramona’s disappearance remains unsolved and police do not know what happened to her following the fire. The identities of the two unidentified adults who allegedly took Ramona from the site of the fire are unknown.

Her mother sadly passed away from stage IV cancer in June 2019. Her siblings and other relatives continue to search for her.

Investigating Agency

If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:

New Orleans Police Department (504) 658-6040

Source Information

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children


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