News, Culture & Society

Police seek help in renewed 1984 case of missing toddler

Police opened a missing person case this week into the disappearance of the then three-year-old girl Ramona Brown

New Orleans police have revived efforts to find a girl who wandered off from the scene of a fire in 1984 and was never seen again.

On Wednesday cops released images of what they believe Ramona Brown would look like now, aged 37, seeking tips on where she may be.

Brown disappeared from her home in the Algiers neighborhood of Louisiana 34 years ago.  

Two of her brothers died in the blaze but seven other children survived. 

Brown’s older sister, Simona, told investigators that the then-three-year-old wandered away while the siblings were huddled outside.

Even 34 years later, Simona recalls a vivid memory of an older, interracial couple driving a bronze-colored sedan picking up Ramona, promising to care for the girl in the chaotic aftermath of the fire. 

Police in the Crescent City have come up with a portrait of how Remona may look now in 2018

Police in the Crescent City have come up with a portrait of how Remona may look now in 2018

The couple asked if the children needed help, before speeding off with Brown.

She hasn’t been heard from since.

WWL-TV reports investigators at the time searched through the charred house for the girl’s remains for four days after the fire. They also searched the surrounding areas but found nothing.

Deputy Louisiana State Fire Marshal Brant Thompson told the television station it’s likely there would have been something left of the young girl for investigators to find.

‘It’s really inconceivable to think that in a house fire, all that existed of a human being, even a child between the ages of three and four, would be completely consumed by that fire,’ Thompson said. 

The case was never transferred over to the NOPD for investigation as a possible kidnapping or a homicide, although records indicate investigators told the family they could open one, but that it was never done.

Arson investigators also never ruled out the possibility that the fire was intentionally set – although, they did speculate in newspaper coverage of the blaze that a gas space heater may have been to blame. 

New Orleans Police urge anyone with information about Ramona Brown’s whereabouts to contact Fourth District detectives at 504-658-6040.