A 13-year-old Iowa boy found dead after running away from home earlier this month fell to his death after climbing a communication tower, police have learned.
Corey Brown, of Marshalltown, climbed over a secure fence and up a communication tower after running away from home on Jan. 22. He fell from an “undetermined distance” and suffered a severe traumatic head injury, Marshalltown police said in a statement.
Preliminary autopsy results revealed that the teen died of blunt force trauma to the head, authorities said in the statement.
“We don’t know why Corey was climbing the tower, what happened, how he fell off the tower,” Marshalltown police Chief Michael Tupper told the Marshalltown Times-Republican. “All I know is that he was there, and he fell. Nobody was there to talk to Corey, so we obviously can’t know his frame of mind.”
Authorities said the body was likely there for several days, according to USA Today.
Brown ran away from home that night after having a “disciplinary discussion” with his parents in which his cell phone taken away, according to the Des Moines Register. He was last seen walking in the area at around 11:15 p.m.
Police found Brown dead at the tower site last Sunday around 10:45 a.m.
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The discovery marked the tragic end of a days-long search after Brown left his family’s home in the middle of Winter Storm Indra, according to the Weather Channel. Temperatures dropped to five degrees over the days Corey was missing and even hit -13 degrees on Sunday, according to local reports.
Marshalltown received about four inches of new snow at the time of the boy’s disappearance.
“Corey was a great kid, and he is going to be missed,” Tupper said, according to WLKY. “It’s been hard for everybody … We’ll never really know for sure what happened. From the bottom of my heart, I want to ask everybody to think about the Brown family and pray for them.”
and more than 200 people joined in the search to find him, braving freezing temperatures and rough winds, according to KCCI.
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During the search, Craig and Michelle spoke at a news conference, begging their son to return home.
“Corey, if you’re out there, bud, you’re not in trouble. Just come home,” Craig said.
Michelle added in tears: “Corey, you know how much we love you. And I’m not going to stop until we find you. If you’re out there, please come home. We love you more than you’ll ever know.”
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