Unsolved Mysteries Wiki

Robert Brown

Real Name: Robert "Bobby" Brown
Case: Lost Brother
Date: 1957
Location: California


Details: Martha Brown is searching for her twin brother, Robert, after they were given up for adoption by their impoverished parents, Ira and Dora Brown. The Browns had relocated to California after their farm in Oklahoma was destroyed during the Dust Bowl. By 1951, they had four children and Dora was pregnant again. On July 27, 1951, she gave birth to Martha and Robert. Due to financial difficulties and her heart ailments, she and Ira were forced to give them up for adoption. They were placed in California's foster care system. They were taken from one home to another for several years.

Martha Brown.jpg

Finally, in 1956, Martha and Robert came to live with Arnold and Alice Breitler of Reedley, California. Alice remembered that they had large amounts of dirt on them, and it took her over two hours to clean it off. She also remembered that they were always eating food, as they had not received much of it from their other foster homes. Martha told Alice how she and Robert were mistreated by the other foster families. They would sneak into the kitchen at night to take food, in fear of being malnourished again. Years of neglect had taken a severe toll on them; Alice noticed that they were suffering from behavioral difficulties. One day, while they were playing in a small pool, she saw Robert hold Martha's head under the water and not let her come up. She scolded him and helped her; realizing that he needed help, Alice contacted child authorities. In 1957, he and Martha were separated, and he was sent to another social care home. On the last day they saw each other, he gave Martha his favorite Halloween costume.

Alice Breitler.jpg

When the twins were eleven, Robert and his foster family moved out of the area. Martha, Arnold, and Alice never heard from him again. In 1962, Martha was legally adopted by Arnold and Alice. After the former passed away, Martha and Alice moved to Ashland, Oregon. When she was eighteen, Martha went to the welfare office in Fresno, California. She learned that Robert had been adopted; she eventually obtained his address. She wrote him a letter, asking if he could come to her graduation. Sadly, a few weeks later, it returned unopened.
In 1989, Martha obtained copies of Robert's birth certificate and driver's license. She found that he had an address in Los Angeles. She was surprised to learn that it was actually a homeless shelter. Records from the Midnight Mission, however, showed that he had not been seen there since 1987.
Martha is still hoping to find Robert, along with her other siblings that she has never met.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the May 6, 1992 episode.
Results: Solved. Within minutes of the broadcast, Martha was put in contact with her oldest brother, Jack. She was saddened to learn that her other brother and sister (who were not adopted) were deceased.
Sadly, Martha passed away on October 9, 1995 at the age of forty-four. It is not known if she was ever reunited with Robert. However, his name was listed among her survivors in her obituary. Records indicate that he, who later went by the name Robert Harrold Macy, passed away just a year later in 1996.