OH OH - Carnell Sledge, 40, & Katherine Brown, 33, shot dead in park, Cleveland, 4 Jun 2019

Discussion in 'Cold Cases' started by doozle, Jun 25, 2019.

  1. AFoxInSocks

    AFoxInSocks Verified Insider - Carnell Sledge/Katherine Brown

    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    68
    Trophy Points:
    13
    Thanks, Betty P! I'll try to put some thoughts down to share with everyone. I'm not sure I have a ton more information outside of what's been reporting, but I can hopefully clear up any speculations!
     


  2. everybodhi

    everybodhi Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,567
    Likes Received:
    14,259
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Thank you so much for joining in, I keep thinking about Carnell and Katherine, more needs to be done to find their murderer, and possibly be charged with a hate crime, jmo.
    I hope the signs are back up and can’t help wondering what the park officials did with the sweet, simple, unobtrusive, memorial.
     
  3. AFoxInSocks

    AFoxInSocks Verified Insider - Carnell Sledge/Katherine Brown

    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    68
    Trophy Points:
    13
    It's really so sad they took everything down, and so quickly. I'm not sure what they did with memorial? The Browns didn't even know the Metroparks removed the signs until a local TV station contacted them. It's just a shame - the more the case stays top of mind, the more people will talk!

    Given the time of day and location, it's hard to believe someone didn't see something (even if they don't realize it). From the time they arrived to the time they were found is such a small window, approx 15 minutes. There is a small, gravel parking area near the crime scene. A car was parked there at the time and a man was inside working on his computer. He's said to have seen/heard nothing. The kayakers who found them, approximately 3 mins after they were shot, also claimed not to have a heard or seen anything. They were also attacked at a relatively close-range, so the perpetrator(s), would have had to have been able to get to the bench by foot. A long-range type of attack doesn't seem plausible given the evidence, JMO.

    I'm hopeful the case gets solved, sooner than later. But right now, there's just not much to go on.
     
  4. Betty P

    Betty P Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    15,413
    Likes Received:
    62,932
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Thats such a short time frame. I wonder if the man working on his computer just doesnt want to get involved?

    This case isn't even two years old. Is it still being treated like an active case or are family and friends having to do all the work?

    Apologies that this case has been prematurely put into the Cold Case forum. Perhaps mods will reconsider.
     
    AFoxInSocks and everybodhi like this.
  5. AFoxInSocks

    AFoxInSocks Verified Insider - Carnell Sledge/Katherine Brown

    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    68
    Trophy Points:
    13
    At this point, the case is pretty much cold and family/friends are the biggest advocates to keep it in the news and top of mind. If law enforcement do have leads or suspects, they haven't named them. I was listening to a podcast last week hosted by a former NYC homicide prosecutor and former deputy Sheriff discuss a cold case that was ultimately solved 30+ years later. I was struck by a comment the prosecutor made, about how easy it actually is to get away with murder. It's truth stung. :(

    As for the man on his computer - I suppose that's possible? But if he could have just been focused on what he was doing. There is a large tree that could have at least partially obscured his view, especially if he wasn't really paying attention.
     
    doozle, everybodhi and Betty P like this.
  6. GoBuckeyes

    GoBuckeyes Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,966
    Likes Received:
    9,622
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Is there a state or federal LE sourced list? The SPLC isn't at all a reliable source. MOO (Criticism only directed at the SPLC, not at all at you, Betty. You're aces in my book. :))
     
    AFoxInSocks and Betty P like this.
  7. Betty P

    Betty P Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    15,413
    Likes Received:
    62,932
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I don't know of any other source. Perhaps the FBI? I seriously doubt Ohio is tracking hate groups. Our state officials are more likely to be members. :rolleyes::p

    ETA: I also know quite a few people who live in the area who say there are signs of those groups around. They post flyers, etc. JMO, this is probably the less likely of possible scenarios. Others more likely are someone who knew one or both of the victims personally and a robbery gone bad.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2021
    AFoxInSocks, doozle and everybodhi like this.
  8. everybodhi

    everybodhi Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,567
    Likes Received:
    14,259
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Ohio State University Press published a book which will be released July, 2021.
    The Ohio Advisory Committee published a report to the US Commission on Civil Rights but it’s from the early 90’s.
    Sherrod Brown tried to get the Federal Government to release the information they have, here’s the letter.
    Brown Seeking Information on How FBI, DOJ are Keeping Ohio Communities Safe from Terrorism, Hate Groups | U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio
    Two years after Brown’s request, Jeff Session’s DOJ released this, a tally of hate crimes by local Ohio LE, the majority of municipalities report zero, something pointed out back in the 90’s in that state commission report posted above.
    Nothing’s changed.
    2019 Hate Crime Statistics for Ohio
    Ohio
     
    Betty P likes this.
  9. AFoxInSocks

    AFoxInSocks Verified Insider - Carnell Sledge/Katherine Brown

    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    68
    Trophy Points:
    13
    Regarding a robbery gone bad - it's definitely been thought about, only nothing was stolen off either Nell or Kate nor was anything taken from their cars. It's just odd to think that someone would try to rob two people, in broad daylight, in a public area where other cars are parked and driving so closely. But I also remind myself that ANYONE capable of murder is behaving in ways I could never wrapped my head around, so...

    Hate crime is an interesting theory. And as @everybodhi showed, it's not a pretty story in Ohio and seems to get paid very little mind... (and to your point, our state officials are more likely to be members!) :p But if it was a hate crime, IMO, would mean it was a crime of opportunity and Kate and Nell just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. If this was the case, I don't think it was as though someone went to the park, waiting to commit a crime (it's not a diverse enough area to sit and wait, IMO), but rather saw them arrive and found an opportunity. Maybe the person(s) was already there when they arrived or came by shortly after.

    It's really a shame so little is seemingly being done about hate crimes in Ohio. :(

    I just keep thinking that someone saw or heard something. IMO, if the perpetrator(s) arrived by car, I would have to think the gentleman who was already there would have seen or heard the call pull in or drive away. Only 6 cars or so can fit in the parking area, and since Kate and Nell drove separate, there would have only been a few available spots left. If they arrived on foot, they could have easily walked away, relatively undetected as a person visiting the park; however, the walking trail is actually across the main road and 20+ feet or so into the woods. So it would have had to be someone just walking along the side of the road/thru the grassy areas on the opposite side of the street, OR someone trying to cross the road during rush hour. I guess they could have jumped down the river bank and trudged along that area. It's maybe a 4ft drop near the bench where they were found from the ground into the river. Maybe even swam across and up the banks on the other side. But with the kayakers having come upon their bodies so quickly, I would think anyone trying to evade detection within the river walls would have been seen by them? This is why I think having those signs up are SO IMPORTANT - someone may have seen someone walking along the road (vs the path), or someone climbing out of the river bed, or trying to cross the road, etc. Maybe they were wearing something odd for the park or for June in Cleveland - someone running/walking fast in work clothes, wearing a hoodie in 85 degree weather, hiding his/her face, acting odd, etc. I just wish there was a way to better communicate to the public that any little tip, even if they don't think it's important, could be key!
     
    azure, everybodhi and Betty P like this.
  10. Betty P

    Betty P Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    15,413
    Likes Received:
    62,932
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Good points! The kayakers would have seen anyone leaving the area via the river. They would have either been parked close by or, as you say, walked along the roadway to reach another parking area or the walking trail.
     
    AFoxInSocks and everybodhi like this.
  11. everybodhi

    everybodhi Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,567
    Likes Received:
    14,259
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Neither of the victims seem like people who would have enemies in their lives staking them out, trying to kill them. jmo
    There was no robbery, no car stolen, as far as I know, just an execution of two peaceful people sitting in a park.
     
    AFoxInSocks likes this.
  12. GoBuckeyes

    GoBuckeyes Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,966
    Likes Received:
    9,622
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Your comment about current leadership just made me laugh so hard I actually scared one of my 4 foots. (Dogs) LOL I'm not sure if they're members of any, but I've noticed that there's plenty of hate-filled rants being directed their way at the moment. ;)

    If I get the chance, I'll search for FBI or DHS?? sources. You've got me curious now.

    I agree with you, it's more likely not to be racially motivated, and to be someone who knew one or both, or, another murderous loon in a park killing strangers. Seems there's been a real uptick in stranger killings in county and state parks. It's such a shame, far and away due to tragic loss of innocent lives, and much secondary to that, that Ohio's beautiful park system gets used less often when one of these crimes occurs.
     
    AFoxInSocks and Betty P like this.
  13. Betty P

    Betty P Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    15,413
    Likes Received:
    62,932
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Thanks! Sen. Brown is a great guy.
     
    doozle likes this.
  14. Betty P

    Betty P Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    15,413
    Likes Received:
    62,932
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Probably not related because its in Akron, but interesting nonetheless

    Man shot, killed while sitting on bench in Akron’s Grace Park

    Police detectives say the victim was sitting on a park bench when an unknown suspect approached him from behind and shot him.

    The suspect ran from the area north after the shooting. He is believed to be 25-30 years old, about 5-foot-9 to 6-feet tall, and between 180-200 pounds. He has short black hair and was wearing a white T-shirt, black pants, and white shoes.
     
  15. AFoxInSocks

    AFoxInSocks Verified Insider - Carnell Sledge/Katherine Brown

    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    68
    Trophy Points:
    13
    Fox News reported on some new evidence today!

    Not sure if I should include a "trigger warning", but I know a few posters also knew Nell. It has parts of the kayaker's 911 call, police audio, and visual reenactment of what may have occurred. It was an unexpected gut-punch...
    New video, clues revealed in Cleveland Metroparks murder mystery nearly two years later

    Recap of the new information released:
    • Police dash cam footage - clearly shows how busy park/area was at the time of the crime
    • Anonymous letter (will try to transcribe what I can see on the flashes of the letter from the Fox News report below so you don't have to to do the "pause, read, play, pause, play, pause TOO FAR!, rewind, too far again, pause, read... " yourself :p) received by Fox News several months after the murders and was immediately turned over to FBI
    • Nell apparently made dinner plans with his family and was expected to be to his grandmother's house within the hour he was in the park. (I don't know the proximity of the park to his grandmother's house).
    • Re-enactment of what potentially occurred, indicating the close-range nature of the attack
    • Positions Kate and Nell were found in relation to the bench
    Here's what can I make of the letter (if anyone does gets better details, please add/edit), verbatim (author's errors included):

    "I have seen new reports that the killer or killers of Carnell Sledge and Kate Brown haven't been found. No suspects.
    Their killer was a woman. I don't know how she knew them or why she happened to be there that day.
    She parked out of sight and walked to the bench where Carnell was sitting. Kate had walked closer to the water's edge to look at something.
    To best describe the woman is to take Reba McIntire from the "Reba" Show. She best fits the description of the woman. Giver her the hair of "Reba's" daughter Kyra. Put on her a spanish olive green sweatshirt like a hoody, faided blue.... "
    (Then the screen flips to another part of the the letter):

    "...Kate joined Carnell and sat on the bench, getting up again and going away from the bench. None of my busness by were the two talking marriage? Don't believe this was the motive.
    I hit a snag. I thought I had a name, but who said the name wasn't Carnell or Kate. It was a white man, sitting on the bench with sandy brown hair and glasses like Drew Carrey. He was looking behind the bench at the woman and he said "for God's sake Amy, put down the gun!"
    But the more the woman was talked to, the more agitated and irated she got, until she had had enough and shot Carnell first."

    This is all I could get from the news video.

    So first, the park seemed SO crowded! Now, undoubtedly police presence likely brought over more walkers and lookers, but still seems like a lot of potential witnesses.

    I was surprised to learn Nell had dinner plans. So what brought him to the park? Was he lured? Were they both? IMO, unlikely, but only because I don't believe the mutual friends (outside of family and close friends) was such that one person could lure them BOTH. Again, just MO.

    Nell was a big support to Kate, especially when she was struggling with substance abuse, and played a role in her recovery. She had been 2 years sober, but I wouldn't doubt if, for example, Kate and rough day and called Nell, he'd make it a point to meet up and just make sure she was OK (perhaps before heading to dinner). Again, all MO.

    As for this letter - aside from the validity, which we DO NOT know -
    • The first thing that struck me was the tv show references - Reba and Drew Carey. Definitely older tv shows. I'll admit I'm not much of a sitcom watcher, and while I am familiar with both shows, it's a reference I'd never think to make (let alone recall Reba's daughter's name!). It was just an interesting way to describe the two people this person saw.
    • The author claims the killer "parked out of sight and walked to the bench..." which makes sense to me, based on the seeming lack of evidence. And in a crowded park, "she" could have walked away and blended right in with the rest of the park goers.
    • We know 3 shots were fired - that's a lot of shots to go "unnoticed" (basically unheard) by the park goers. And with the river right there, it might even echo. It's hard to believe neither the man in his car (doing paperwork - I originally said he was working on his computer) or the kayakers didn't heard a single shot (or anyone else near the area yet out of sightline at the time). Would a silencer muffle the sounds to the point of no one hearing anything?
    • I was also struck by there being another male sitting on the bench when it happened. It's not a very large bench. It seems odd a complete stranger would sit down next to them without knowing them (although, he could have asked, I guess!). I could go on about this, but it's all speculation on a letter we don't even know is true...

    There's a lot of speculation that could be made from this letter. And while I don't want to go down a rabbit hole, there are a few things in the letter that didn't totally surprise. However, since we don't know the validity, I'm honestly not sure it's appropriate to get into?

    Regardless, I hope this renews interest in the case, maybe scares someone into talking. I just hope it means we're one step closer to finding answers!
     
    azure, everybodhi, Betty P and 3 others like this.
  16. mgeni

    mgeni Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    446
    Trophy Points:
    53

    Wow, that letter is something. Not sure what to make of it. My name is Amy and I knew Sledge, but I promise it wasn’t me! I can’t imagine another man fitting on the bench with Sledge. And for him to know the shooter by name. It seems far fetched, but nothing about that evening makes sense.

    I can totally see him meeting up last minute before dinner at his Grandma’s if Kate was having a hard day. Or a great day! Just being there as a good friend for all the ups and downs.

    I have to run into work and can’t look back at posts to see your relation to the case, but it sounds like you knew Kate well. I’m so sorry for your loss. She sounds like a wonderful person—no wonder they were close friends. I’m going to come back to your post again once I get some free time at work. I’m still a little shaken up by seeing the name Amy as the possible shooter (per the unverified anonymous letter—why didn’t the writer just go to the police???).
     
  17. AFoxInSocks

    AFoxInSocks Verified Insider - Carnell Sledge/Katherine Brown

    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    68
    Trophy Points:
    13
    Hi Amy! I know the Brown family really well. :)

    I didn't know Nell (met him only a handful of times) well, but I have a lot of mutual acquaintances I didn't even know about until after the incident. I know he was a really amazing human..

    I also think "Amy" needs to be taken with some skepticism since a.) we don't know the validity of the letter, and b.) Amy is a very common name. The person could have heard any number of similar names and simply filled it in with whatever he/she felt seemed to fit. We know witness memories are not always reliable. Off the top of my head, Annie, Allie, Lainy, Kami, etc. all could have been mis-heard (if it's even true!). IMO, this person could easily be late 30s+ based on their sitcom references. Maybe their hearing isn't perfect? Once I had kids, my hearing got very selective. When I hear "mommmmm," it sounds like "I NEEEEEEED a snack!"
     
    Betty P likes this.
  18. mgeni

    mgeni Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    446
    Trophy Points:
    53
    Definitely! I tell my 14 year old that his “fine mom” sounds like “Of course, I’d love to!” :)
    I was just shocked to see Amy on there. Fascinated by the letter, really. So many reasons to assume it’s not valid, but then again, who sits around thinking up scenarios? I guess that’s kind of what we do at Websleuths, but we don’t present our theories as fact and anonymously mailed them to the media. Hopefully it’ll get people talking again. I’ve had calls from my cousin (a coworker of his at the school) and my aunt about how bizarre it is. Maybe someone will see the article or overhear discussion about it and it’ll jog their memory of that day.
    I’m so sorry about your loss. They seem like a wonderful family. My brother struggles with substance abuse, so knowing Kate was two years sober is just another example of what a great person she must have been. Very strong!
     
    everybodhi, Betty P and AFoxInSocks like this.
  19. Betty P

    Betty P Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    15,413
    Likes Received:
    62,932
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Here's the video of the Fox8 News report including re-enactment created by the Evidence Room. Great work

    New video, clues revealed in Cleveland Metroparks murder mystery nearly two years later

    This new information reveals so much more about the victims and the crime. Some of this information should have been released much, much earlier in the investigation to get leads.

    Yes, from police video (why wasn't this released?) you can see many, many people in the park that day. It's a popular spot in the middle of a densely populated area.

    Not sure about the letter since it hasn't been verified, but it seems realistic. This person may not be coming forward because they fear knowledge of the crime and other factors in their own life put them at risk of arrest for other crimes.

    Learning of victim's past struggles with drug abuse doesn't reflect poorly on them, IMO, nor does it diminish the urgency to prosecute this crime. It's great they both had overcome problems, and if Carnell was there to provide some counseling and support, he was a great person for doing so much to help others.

    JMO, it now seems the suspect pool might include former "drug buddies". I assume these people have been interviewed and have been offered some sort of reward or incentive for their assistance. If providing witness testimony to prosecute the killer were to result in another trip to rehab and support services instead of incarceration, maybe that would help.

    If the letter is accurate, there may have been a verbal altercation prior to the shooting that surely would have attracted the attention of others. People would have observed shouting, gunshots and the killer running away to their car. I can't imagine being an innocent bystander to a tragic double murder and not wanting to make the effort to come forward to report what I saw.

    Cleveland Metroparks needs to allow signs/posters in the park to encourage people to call in with more information. Impartial witnesses who happened to be in the area should be good citizens and help LE.

    Condolences to the families and friends. You're doing such a great thing to keep this case in the public's attention.

    ETA: Hopefully, there's a witness who may have information about the murder weapon, where it's located, etc.
     
    everybodhi, doozle and AFoxInSocks like this.
  20. Betty P

    Betty P Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    15,413
    Likes Received:
    62,932
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Also, a big Welcome! to the friends, family, etc. of Carnell and Kate!
     
    everybodhi, doozle and AFoxInSocks like this.

Share This Page



  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice