Ten-year-old Sheketah and her two younger brothers: six-year-old Barry & two-year-old Brandon lived with their parents, Carolyn & James Brown in Port St. Lucie, Florida in 1985.
James & Carolyn had been married for 10 years and were employed as teachers. The whole family disappeared on July 25, 1985.
Carolyn's mother notified police in August of 1985 because she was worried that he had not heard from her daughter, her son-in-law or grandchildren since July 4th.
Investigators went to the Brown residence, but they were not concerned because there were no obvious indications that the family met with foul play inside the home.
Carolyn's purse was located in a corner of the garage and inside it, every piece of her identification had been cut up, an uneaten meal was spread out on the dining room table; one of the rooms in the house had been freshly painted and later, a closer look revealed that the paint had covered up bloodstains on the walls.
The Brown family was officially listed as missing after the next school year began and neither James or Carolyn were reported to teach.
Later, James called Carolyn's sister and told her that she could have everything inside his home. When Carolyn's sister asked him where the rest of the family was, James said "out there."
Several weeks after his family vanished, James resurfaced in Savannah, Georgia, checking into a hospital under the name "Demetrius Jones." He said that someone robbed & shot him in the head.
James' true identity was discovered and he admitted that he murdered his wife & children and tried to kill himself.
James told authorities that he shot Carolyn while she slept inside their home on the night the family disappeared. He said that Brandon was sleeping next to his mom and claimed that he smothered Brandon with a pillow. He later disposed of their bodies in Palm Beach County, Florida.
James said on July 17, 1985 (three days after he murdered Carolyn & Brandon), he said that he drove Sheketah and Barry to Brunswick, Georgia along Interstate 95. He shot Barry in the head & Sheketah in the face and disposed of their bodies along the highway.
A jury acquitted James in Carolyn and Sheketah's deaths in late 1985. He was never charged with Brandon and Barry's homicides because authorities were not certain of the location of the presumed murders.
Extensive searches of the areas produced no evidence to the family's whereabouts, and some investigators believe that James lied about where he disposed of the bodies.
Several court-appointed mental health professionals diagnosed James as a paranoid schizophrenic after he stated that he heard voices and saw visions.
James was committed to a Florida mental health facility after the court's decision in 1985. He was moved to a halfway house in 1996 and released from the program in 1997. Since his release, James has been under investigation for his psychotic episodes.
Carolyn, Sheketah, Brandon and Barry have never been located.