RALEIGH Regynald Reggie Jose Brown found dead last week in South Raleigh played on his junior high football team in Roxboro and marched in his high school band. Classmates remembered him as a kind, jovial guy who smiled a lot.
Police on Friday arrested five teenage boys in connection with Browns death. Four, a 13-year-old and three 15-year-olds, are charged with murder. The fifth juvenile is charged with providing assistance after the murder.
All five are charged as juveniles, so their names are not public record.
Jacqueline Denise Adams, the mother of Browns youngest daughter, and Marloe Gholson, one of Browns friends, found his body stuffed head-first into a trash can that had toppled over, nearly buried in sand, alongside a bicycle trail in the woods of a Capital Area greenway near Hammond Road.
He was a very good friend. We both participated in marching band. He played the trombone or the sax, LaToya Smith of Roxboro said. He was a sweet guy who would do anything for you. He was one of the good guys.
Brown, 37, graduated from Person Senior High School in 1993 and made his way to Raleigh, where he worked as an electrician. Although he was homeless when he was killed, he was preparing to take the exam to become a licensed electrician and was hoping to start a construction business, Adams said.
I loved him and cared about him a lot, and the family is torn about losing him, Adams wrote in an email Friday night.
She said their daughter, Regyna, is grieving.
The hardest thing that I ever had to do in my entire life was telling our 5-year-old child that her daddy was not coming back because he died, she said.
Police have not yet disclosed how Brown died.
The teens are all from Raleigh and were arrested at or near their homes, Raleigh Police Department spokesman Jim Sughrue said. He did say the crime does not appear to be gang-related.
Gholson and Adams both reported Brown missing Nov. 20. He made his home in a camp not very far from where his body was found. Gholson and Adams were with a third friend when they found Browns body.
Brown, a bald-pated man with smooth brown skin and a pencil-thin moustache and goatee, tried to stay active and in touch the community and childhood friends, despite being homeless. He had a Facebook page with 104 friends. In his profile picture, hes standing on a wooden porch, wearing a gray suit and blue-striped tie.
There were happier times. Hes wearing a big smile in the pictures posted on Facebook of him with his daughters.
He traveled to Virginia Beach this past summer with his youngest daughter. A snapshot shows him celebrating her first birthday, holding her above a cake. In another, he is cheek to cheek with his oldest daughter, Dyniesha Wilson, both glowing with big smiles.
Brown relied on his faith. Among his things at the homeless camp was a copy of the Bible and a book titled Bible Promises in Tough Times.
On his Facebook page, he listed the church retreat Smoky Mountain Christian Village in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., and Gods Harvest Church in Winston-Salem among the three things he liked. His third like was pop superstar Alicia Keys.
Adams said she gave him the book about the Bible and tough times.
She said Brown ended up homeless because work opportunities dwindled and he had fallen on hard times.
Work was slow, Adams said. He wasnt actually staying out (at the homeless camp) much at the time he died. He mostly lived for short stays at rooming houses or relied on friends to host him, she said.
Former classmate Brian S. Lewis of Roxboro said he last saw Brown more than 15 years ago.
He was just a great, great guy to be around, Lewis said. I had no idea. Its a sad, sad situation.
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