(Branson) (AP) – Law enforcement officers in southwest Missouri searched Wednesday for a 68-year-old man who has been charged with murder in his wife’s shooting death at a Branson hotel.
Taney County Prosecuting Attorney Jeff Merrell said Thomas Phillip Brown was charged Tuesday with first-degree murder and armed criminal action. His wife, Marilyn J. Brown, 63, was found dead Monday at a Ramada Resort and Conference Center on the main strip in the resort town. Police said she appeared to have been dead for more than two days.
The couple had just moved to Branson from Palm Springs, Calif. – a move that Thomas Brown reportedly didn’t agree with, according to police. They were staying in motels after being displaced from the home where they had planned to live.
Public records show that Thomas Brown had lived in the Arkansas towns of Union and Calhoun in the early 1990s. He held a California state security and investigative services license from 1992 through 2008, as well as a state security guard’s license that expired in June 2012 after 20 years.
Thomas Brown also filed for federal Chapter 7 bankruptcy in July 2012, online court records show. The case was discharged and closed three months later. His California-based bankruptcy attorney and trustee did not immediately respond to telephone messages seeking comment.
Branson police said Brown was likely driving a blue Dodge Durango with California license plate 5WRF678.
Each of the four homicides in Branson since 2007 has occurred in a hotel or motel.