People don’t just disappear – the story of Greg Brooks

There’s really no shortcut to forgetting someone. You just have to endure missing them every day until you don’t anymore.

I didn’t know Greg well.

He was my friend Germaine’s older brother, and every once in awhile he would give us a lift in his car on the way home from school. I always felt like a “cool kid” when that happened. Passing all the other loser kids who were walking or riding their bikes was a highlight for twelve year old me.

It’s interesting that riding in his car is the only real memory I have of him considering it was the only piece of evidence found after his disappearance.

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I can’t tell you why I think about Greg’s case so much. I really didn’t know him well at all, like I said.  I don’t know if it’s because he is my friends brother so naturally I care, my empathy for his mother now that I have 3 sons of my own, or simply the frustration of the unknown.

All I can tell you for certain is some days it feels as if  he is calling out to me somehow. Today is one of those days. It’s like he want’s to be found, wherever he is.

The Disappearance

Roy “Greg” Brooks left his house on January 18, 2000 and was never seen or heard from by his family or friends again. His last known location was a Winn-Dixie in Casselberry, Florida (my hometown) where he cashed his paycheck worth about $200. He was supposed to go to work but never showed up.

His black 1992 Honda Accord was found abandoned the next day on an Interstate 75 ramp in Ruskin, Florida (Near Tampa). That’s roughly 2.5 hours from Casselberry. (continued below)

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His family was called to retrieve the vehicle; no obvious signs of foul play were found.

The vehicle still sits in his mothers front yard waiting for him to come home. To my knowledge, forensics have never been ran on the vehicle. I believe they fingerprinted it and found that only Greg’s fingerprints were there.

That in itself is suspicious since it should have been full of his friends and family’s prints, right? Do any of us have a vehicle where our fingerprints are the ONLY ones on the surfaces?

From what I understand, that was the end of the investigation. Law enforcement allegedly runs his social every year to see if it’s been used, and for the last 18 years it has never returned with a hit.

What happened to Greg?

That is the million dollar question.

Was he in some sort of trouble?

From what I have been told, the police seemed to assume that he was in some sort of trouble and on the run so they never really looked. He was an adult, after all. And black. Yes, that matters.

It’s important to note that Greg had never been in any sort of trouble with the law. There really was no reason for them to assume he ran off under the circumstances. 

Well, it’s been 18 years now, so their theory was probably incorrect. If it wasn’t, then obviously he was in the sort of trouble that required police involvement.

He had recently returned from college at FAMU, and according to Germaine, had begun to act paranoid as if someone was after him.

Did something happen while he was at FAMU? Did he get involved with or witness something he shouldn’t have? Did it put him in danger?

The police questioned his friends but came up empty.

The family struggled to get media coverage at the time of Greg’s disappearance. You can read more about that here.

It’s a damn shame too. It could have possibly solved this case long ago.

The fact that he may have been a victim of foul play is a very real possibility.

Did he have a mental breakdown?

Reports state that Greg was bipolar.

His brother, Germaine, echoes the sentiment that Greg was acting strangely in the period leading up to his disappearance.

Did he have a mental breakdown and somehow forgot where he was or what he was doing. What if he is still out there as a living John Doe? If that was the case, he might have been found had an adequate search been performed of the area around his vehicle.

I’m sounding really critical here because I am. I feel like the investigation was bullshit. Maybe the outcome would have been the same, but at least they could have said they tried.

Did he hurt himself as a result of his bipolar disorder? It’s a question that has to be asked. If so, where did he go to do that? There isn’t much within walking distance of the location his car was found. Did they check the surrounding camera’s if they existed?

Nothing about this makes sense, does it?

Finding Greg

I can’t imagine how his mother and father and brother must feel. The pain of not knowing must be unbearable. 18 years is the length of a childhood. 18 years of not knowing where their son and brother is.

Hoping every day that he’s going to walk through that door like nothing ever happened.

Someone knows what happened to Greg Brooks. That much is certain. Somebody saw him on that exit ramp, or at a restaurant, or a stoplight. Someone out there lives every day knowing the answer to a question that has tormented a mother and father and brother out there for years.

We will find that person. We will, at minimum, find out what happened to Greg if not find Greg himself.

If you have any information at all regarding Greg, please contact the police number on the photo on this post, or you can email me and I can send the information to the family.

On the off chance that Greg is out there and reads this:

Your family is waiting for you and they have never stopped looking for you. It’s never too late to go home.

Thank you all for reading this. Please share as much as you can. All it takes is ONE person knowing him or recognizing his photo for us to find him.

 

 

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