SOLVED. The Disappearance of Ralph Brown

4 min readJun 25, 2022

Ralph Brown got up off his recliner one evening, told his wife he was going to go home, and left the house.

But Ralph Brown was home. He just didn’t know it.

Ralph had been suffering from Alzheimer's Disease for going on two years and was sometimes confused about where he was. The confusion occasionally would worsen in the evening hours.

On Sunday, May 16, 2021, it was one of those evenings.

Ralph and his wife of over 50 years, Carol, had spent the day doing some shopping. That evening, their lives would change forever.

When Ralph first left the house, getting into their blue Nissan Sentra, Carol panicked. Ralph hadn’t driven a car in over a year. She alerted their children, and everyone started calling him.

It would actually be his daughter Laurie’s call that he ended up answering. It would be his last conversation with his family.

When she asked where he was and told him that everyone was looking for him, he replied, “I’m in the bushes at the golf course.”

Everyone was confused, and sick with worry when the frantic search for Ralph began.

They were able to pull his phone records, which showed that Ralph drove around for four hours, with his cell phone pinging, until it eventually stopped.

Ralph Brown spent his younger years as a teacher, and then a principal. Ralph was passionate about doing good things and would go on to become mayor of Corneilius, Oregon. Cornelius is a suburb located just to the west of Portland. In one of his mayoral legacies, he and Carol founded Cornelius Kids Inc., the area’s first youth sports program.

Ralph and Carol lived in Cornelius their entire married lives, staying in the same home in fact and raising their children there.

Ralph was an avid runner and participated in many marathons, charity runs and early morning runs through the neighborhood.

He was a sociable guy, loved to talk to others, and was one of those guys that everybody liked.


Jen is the host of the missing persons podcast: "Where are they?”