This month marks the third anniversary of the violent assault and murder of Saint Paul resident and Native American community member Richard Vincent Brown Senior. The case is still under investigation by the Saint Paul Police Department, leaving Brown's family with more questions than answers.
"I don't just want to sit here and guess about it," said Emma Geyer, Brown's mother, in regards to the case. "It's driving me crazy."
Brown's family members feel that they have been neglected by the Saint Paul Police Department and are not kept adequately informed as to new developments with the case.
"What are the police doing? Why aren't they at least keeping us informed?" said Chris Paul, Brown's adoptive brother. "I understand it can take years to figure out the who and what, but just let us know what's going on in the meantime. To me that would be a huge courtesy, so that we're not sitting here thinking that you're absolutely not doing anything at all."
Geyer and Paul say that neither they nor other families members they know of have been interviewed by the police in connection with the case. They also say that they have never received a written report of any kind from the police. They speculate that the case is not a priority because Brown was Native American and homeless.
"That's happened to a lot of Indian people, though. They don't investigate anyone. I know how people think - 'oh, we don't care. He's just a nobody,'" said Geyer.
John Wright, the officer investigating Brown's murder, was unable to comment on the case because it is still open. However, Sergeant Paul Paulos, a Public Information Officer with the Saint Paul Police Department, was able to speak generally about the homicide investigation process.
"In certain cases like this, we really need to keep the integrity strong in the process leading up to charges," said Paulos.
Because of his limited ability to share information specific to the case, Paulos could neither confirm nor deny Brown's family's claims. While families do not have access to detailed† police reports, they may request a public narrative which contains very limited information about the crime. According to Paulos, there is no formalized process whereby investigators notify families about an ongoing homicide investigation.