Johnny Lamar Brown’s family is still trying to find their son and brother who was last seen headed to an amusement park in Myrtle Beach two years ago.
“I want to find my brother,” Julie Adams said. “It’s a battle every day. We just want to know.”
She said she believes he is still alive, but could be lost, possibly working on a farm or in a homeless camp.
Myrtle Beach police say they are continue to investigate any tips received in Brown’s case.
The family was on their first vacation in August 2012. It was Brown’s first time out of their hometown in Cartersville, Ga., which is about 45 miles north of Atlanta, his mother Ruby Brown said.
Brown told his family he was going to walk to the Family Kingdom Amusement Park on Aug. 3, 2012. Their hotel was a few blocks south of the park. He hasn’t been seen since he appeared on surveillance footage at a beachwear store in Surfside Beach the same day.
Upon returning to Georgia, the family learned Brown had tried calling home. The last call came in about 9:30 a.m. Aug. 4, 2012, from Surfside Beach.
Speaking to The Sun News in 2013, the family vowed to search until he’s found, a promise they’re keeping two years later.
“We’re never giving up,” his mother Ruby Brown said. “As long as God gives me breath in my body, I’ll always be looking for my son Johnny.”
Brown, who was 44 when he was reported missing, is characterized as someone with special needs. Ruby Brown explained that he has a stutter that can make communication difficult, and he can get confused and disoriented. He stands about 5’6” and weighed about 146 pounds when his family last saw him.
He doesn’t drive and left without taking a wallet or any identification.
“In my heart I know God is going to bring him back,” Ruby Brown said. “I know he’s coming back. If by chance, he’s deceased we still want him back home so that we can give him a decent burial and we’ll have some closure. For now and until then we’re going to keep on looking.”
Ruby Brown said her son calls her “Ruby Pop” and calls his father John Brown, who is a pastor, Rev., short for reverend.
Adams said he could easily be confused and not sure where he belongs, but said if he can repeat all the states and their capitals, “you’ve probably got the right man.”
Ruby Brown and Adams said they hope Johnny Brown is being taken care of somewhere, though they said they’re no longer sure what kind of help he might need.
“We don’t even know,” Ruby Brown said. “That’s what makes this so hard. We just don’t know anything. I don’t feel like anybody is trying to help us find him anymore.”
Brown is one of 22 people reported missing in South Carolina, according to records with the Community United Effort Center for Missing Persons, based in North Carolina. Five are from Horry County and another two were reported in Georgetown County.
As another year passes without information, the family continues to pray for answers and plead with anyone who thinks they may have seen him to call. Adams said anyone who doesn’t want to call police directly can call her at (404) 576-6306.
Ruby Brown said, “I would like Johnny to know we love him and miss him. There’s a part of my heart missing. We want him to come back home. We pray for him every day. He’s always in our hearts and prayers.”
Anyone with information on Brown’s whereabouts also can call Myrtle Beach Police at 918-1382.