RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A private investigator tells CBS 17 the body of a Raleigh man missing since 2014 has been located off Ridge Road in Raleigh.
David Marshburn, the founder of the “Search for Me Foundation,” says he and his partner Marsha Ward found what they believe to be are the remains of Andrew “Drew” Browne in the woods next to Martin Middle School Thursday morning. Police haven’t yet identified them.
“There are things at the scene that lead us to believe was have found Andrew,” said Search for Me spokesperson Hunter Glass.
Glass said Browne’s father reached out to Search for Me a few months ago because his son’s case had gone cold.
Marshburn agreed to help the family, but wanted to wait to search the woods next to the school until winter break when students would not be on campus.
Glass said Marshburn and Ward arrived at Martin Middle School at 11 a.m., and by 11:30 located the remains, along with clothing believed to be Browne’s.
“He allowed the father and family members to see it, and they immediately identified it as articles Andrew was wearing the night he disappeared,” Glass said.
Marshburn called police after the discovery.
Browne went missing on May 24, 2014. Glass said Browne was battling addiction and had been having withdrawals from Suboxone, which is used to treat opiate addiction.
Browne’s parents came home to find the 23-year-old acting “erratic.” He had a rifle. Glass said Browne wasn’t threatening the parents, but was paranoid and ran from the home.
His parents called 911, and Raleigh Police searched for Browne, but never found him.
“They were actually near Martin Middle School when they heard gunshots, a gunshot,” Glass said.
That’s why Marshburn wanted to search the thick woods near the school.
“You can easily walk right past something over and over again,” Glass said.
As time went by, and without any new tips to RPD, Glass said the case went cold. Glass and Marshburn hope the discovery brings closure to Browne’s family, which is something Search for Me has done for several families with missing loved ones.
“It’s bittersweet. We would love to be able to find people alive,” Glass said.
Marshburn found the remains of missing Fort Bragg solider Kelli Bordeaux, discovered the body of a missing Kansas toddler, and continues to look for Cole Thomas, who disappeared in 2016.
“We try to give a voice to those who don’t have voices,” Glass said.
Raleigh police are investigating the death.
The remains were taken to the medical examiners officer for an autopsy and to make a positive identification.