Corey Brown, 13, was found dead on Sunday, five days after he ran away from home following a fight with his parents
Credit: Marshalltown Police Department

An Iowa couple is mourning the loss of their 13-year-old son who was found dead on Sunday, five days after he ran away from home following a fight with his parents.

Police found Corey Brown dead around 10:45 a.m. on Sunday in a “secluded” area in Marshalltown, police said in a statement. The discovery marked the tragic end of a days-long search after Corey fled his family’s home after his parents took away his cell phone, according to the Des Moines Register.

“The community obviously is pretty devastated,” Marshalltown native Jonathan Bizios, who made more than 1,000 search fliers to find Corey, told the Register. “I think the majority of us were expecting some better news. I guess that’s kind of human nature — to think the best.”

Corey was last seen walking in the area at around 11:15 p.m. on Tuesday, in the middle of Winter Storm Indra, according to the Weather Channel. Temperatures dropped to five degrees over the days Corey was missing and even hit -13 degrees on Sunday, according to local reports. Marshalltown received about four inches of new snow at the time of the boy’s disappearance.

Corey Brown’s mother Michelle Brown
| Credit: KCCI/CBS

Police said that no evidence indicates criminal activity, but “all possible scenarios will be thoroughly investigated.” More than 200 people joined in the search to find the teen, braving freezing temperatures and rough winds, according to KCCI.

Corey was last seen after having a “disciplinary discussion” with his parents in which his phone taken away, according to the Register. His parents, Michelle and Craig Brown, woke up at 5:30 a.m. on Wednesday and found that Corey was not in his bedroom, according to the Marshalltown Times-Republican.

Corey Brown
| Credit: Marshalltown Police Department

“I think that everybody in town really sort of identifies with how the family is feeling right now,” Bizios continued to the Register. “None of us can really imagine what [the family is] going through.”

During the search, Craig and Michelle spoke at a news conference, begging their son to return home.

“Corey, if you’re out there, bud, you’re not in trouble. Just come home,” Craig said.

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Michelle added in tears: “Corey, you know how much we love you. And I’m not going to stop until we find you. If you’re out there, please come home. We love you more than you’ll ever know.”

In a statement on Sunday, Marshalltown Community School District officials said they were “saddened” by the death, KCCI reported.

“Our thoughts and deepest condolences go out to the Brown family and those close to Corey,” a spokesperson for the school district said, according to KCCI. “He was loved by many and will be deeply missed.”