Johnny Edward Brown (picture from

Johnny Brown
Saturday, August 11, 2007 3:23 AM EDT
    Johnny Edward Brown, 36, Cranks, passed away Thursday, Aug. 9, 2007.
    He was born Nov. 8, 1970, in Harlan.
    He was a general laborer and believed in the Pentecostal faith.
    He was preceded in death by his grandparents: John Brown and Wilson McClain; and his brother, Dewayne McClain.
    Survivors include his mother, Wanda Brown Allen and husband, Danny, of Cranks; father, Scotty McClain and wife, Kathy, of McHenry; wife, Geneva Rhymer Brown, of Lenarue; daughter, Hannah Brown, of Cawood; brothers: Billy Brown and wife, Debra, of Cawood; Brian McClain, of McHenry; John McClain, of McHenry; a sister, Tina McClain, of McHenry; grandparents: Flossie Brown, of Cranks; Barbara McClain, of Pennington Gap, Va.; special friends: Alicia Green and Tyler Smith, of Cawood; and several aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, relatives and friends also survive.
    Family will receive friends Sunday, Aug. 12, 2007, after 3 p.m. at the Little Creek Pentecostal Church.
    Memorial services will be held Monday, Aug. 13, 2007, at 2 p.m. at the Little Creek Pentecostal Church with the Rev. Doug Daniel officiating.
    Mount Pleasant Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Body found at Neff
By Enterprise Staff
Friday, August 10, 2007 3:00 AM EDT
    Harlan Daily Enterprise Kentucky State Police Detective Tim Hensley talked with troopers Rob Farley and Jim T. Whitaker while placing evidence in his trunk.
    Emergency officials were called to the Neff community Thursday morning after a man's body was found by Kentucky Utilities workers near a utility pole in a wooded area.
    Kentucky State Police Public Affairs Officer Walt Meachum and deputy coroner Jim Rich said the man's name could not be released until an autopsy has been completed.
    Rich said it was apparent that the man had been dead for several days. He was pronounced dead at 10:25 a.m.
    Rich said the body will be sent to the state medical examiner's office today for an autopsy for identification and cause of death. It could be several days before his identity is determined.
    The Harlan County Rescue Squad was contacted to come to the scene to assist in removing the body from the area, which took several hours due to the investigation at the crime scene by KSP Det. Tim Hensley. Squad Capt. Chris Allen said the intense temperatures forced the squad members to use breathing apparatuses in coping with the heat.
    Squad members spent Tuesday and Wednesday searching for Johnny Brown, 36, who was last seen entering the mountains at Chevrolet on Sunday. Police could not confirm that the body found was that of Brown. Meachum said they would need to wait for the autopsy results.

Officials confirm identity of body
Saturday, August 11, 2007 3:21 AM EDT
    It has been confirmed by officials that the body found Thursday at Neff is that of Johnny Brown, 36, of Cawood, who went missing on Sunday.
    Deputy coroner Jim Rich said Friday that the state medical examiner's office contacted him with results from the autopsy.
    Rich said it's believed that Brown possibly made contact with electricity and was electrocuted, and no foul play is suspected.
    Emergency officials were called to the Neff community Thursday morning after Brown's body was found by    Kentucky Utilities workers near a utility pole in a wooded area.
    Brown's body had to be sent to the state medical examiner's office Friday for an autopsy for identification and cause of death.
    Rich said it was apparent that Brown had been dead for several days. Rich said toxicology tests will determine that information, which could take up to six weeks.
    It was reported that power flickered at residences Sunday in the Chevrolet and Grays Knob communities.
KU workers responded Thursday to check on the power lines when they made the discovery of Brown's body.
    It was also reported that Brown's girlfriend dropped him off in the Chevrolet area on Sunday and he entered the mountains.
    Harlan County Rescue Squad members took time away from their jobs Tuesday and Wednesday to search for Brown. Squad Capt. Chris Allen said members combed several areas of the county on four-wheelers and on foot. The intense temperatures made some of the squad members ill from the heat. Allen said Wings Air Rescue even assisted in a flyover in the area where Brown was last seen. Allen said with everything green right now, Brown could not be found from the air.
    Rescue personnel were contacted Thursday morning to come to the scene at Neff to assist in removing Brown from the area.
    Stewart Spradlin, KU manager of operations for Kentucky in the company's Pineville office, said Friday that Brown was found near a utility pole beneath a three-phase distribution line. Spradlin said the wires equaled 12,000 volts (12 KV). A neutral line was also cut at the utility pole.
    "It was unfortunate for this man to lose his life in such a way," Spradlin said.
    It was reported that some copper wire was rolled up on the ground near Brown's body.
    KSP Det. Tim Hensley is conducting the investigation into Brown's death.
    "Evidence at the scene made it appear that Mr. Brown had been removing copper wire from utility poles," Hensley said.
    Spradlin said there's an outrageous number of copper thefts going on in Kentucky.
    "As many copper thefts that are going on, I'm surprised that there's not more deaths," Spradlin said.
    Brown's name is well-known to Harlan Countians, dating back to July 18, 1989, when he was arrested and charged along with three other men for the murder of a CSX Railroad detective from Perry County. Whitley County Sheriff H.D. Moses arrested Larry Elmore, 20, of Williamsburg, and three Harlan County men, Johnny Brown, 18, of Cawood; Larry England, 21, of Bledsoe; and his twin brother, Gary England, after they fled Harlan County.
    CSX Railroad special agent Shelby W. Nease was assaulted and beaten to death while investigating the theft of copper wire in Harlan County. Nease had pinpointed the four men as suspects.
During the investigation, Nease became involved in a pursuit with the four men. Nease stopped the men but he was overpowered and bludgeoned to death, apparently by Elmore. Nease's vehicle was stolen, burned and pushed into a creek bed at Cranks.
    All four were apprehended and pleaded guilty to various charges in connection with Nease's murder. Elmore was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole for 25 years; 20 years for the robbery; and five years for a theft charge. His charges were to run consecutively for 50 years in prison.
The murder charge was dismissed against Brown and the Englands. Brown and Larry England each received 12 years in prison. Gary England received five years.
    Spradlin said for 2007, KU officials have responded to one other electrocution, at Arjay in Bell County. He said that in 2006 there was an electrocution at Benham and one at Ward's Chapel.
Hensley said the investigation into Brown's death is continuing.