Make your home page

Former NFL player Sergio Brown taken into custody in connection with his mother’s death, source says

NFL safety Sergio Brown speaks during a media interview Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Former Indianapolis Colts player Sergio Brown is missing after his mother, Myrtle, was found dead near her home on Saturday, according to a police statement. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

(CNN) — Former NFL player Sergio Brown, whose mother was found dead last month near her suburban Chicago home, has been taken into custody by authorities in connection with her death, a law enforcement source familiar with the investigation told CNN.

Brown, who had traveled to Mexico, was deported Tuesday and taken into custody by US law enforcement officers near San Diego, the source said, based on an arrest warrant issued in Illinois. Police in San Diego are working to transfer Brown from Southern California to the Chicago area, the source said.

Mexican law enforcement officers have known Brown’s whereabouts since at least September 19, the source said, and deported him after authorities in Illinois finally obtained an arrest warrant pertaining to the death of Brown’s mother.

Authorities discovered the body of 73-year-old Myrtle Brown on September 16 after relatives alerted police they’d been unable to find or contact her or her son, the Maywood Police Department said in a news release. Her body was found near a creek behind her home in Maywood, about 11 miles from Chicago, according to the department.

The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office determined Myrtle Brown died from injuries related to an assault, and the manner of death was ruled a homicide, according to spokesperson Natalia Derevyanny.

At about the same time, Sergio Brown’s brother took to social media to ask for help in finding him.

“My brother Sergio is still missing,” Nick Brown wrote on Instagram. “If anyone knows where he is I want him to know that I love you and please come home.”

“It’s a sad but hopeful time, and we will all get through this together,” Nick Brown wrote online. “Mom always told me, ‘tough times don’t last,’ and our last conversation about tough times being temporary is my beacon of hope.

“Mom, thank you for being strong, caring, diligent, fancy, funny, and for saving my art. I won’t let you down.”

Sergio Brown, 35, played defensive back for Notre Dame before signing with the New England Patriots as an undrafted free agent in 2010. He played seven seasons in the NFL as a member of the Patriots, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars and Buffalo Bills.

Family said they had no contact with Brown

Last week, Myrtle Brown’s family issued a statement through attorney Christian Conway calling on authorities to advance the investigation into her death, saying there was sufficient evidence for an arrest.

“We implore law enforcement agencies, particularly the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, to work diligently and thoroughly in pursuit of truth and accountability for Myrtle Jean Simmons-Brown. No family should bear the weight of uncertainty regarding the circumstances of their loved one’s passing,” the family said.

The family also said they had not been in touch with Sergio Brown since his disappearance.

“We continue to pray for his well-being and advocate for his immediate and safe return to the United States. Let us work together to turn this tragic loss into a force for positive change and justice,” the statement read.

“Myrtle was a beautiful, loving, and inspirational soul that made everyone around her feel like they mattered. With her contagious smile and personality, our loss of Myrtle has left an indescribable void not only in our lives, but in our communities,” the family said.

Amid the search for Sergio Brown, neighbors praised Myrtle Brown to CNN affiliate WBBM.

“Myrtle, she was an outstanding woman, and I’m hoping she’s in the right place and she’s with God,” Carlos Cortez, her next-door neighbor, told WBBM. “I never would’ve expected this in a million years.”

Neighbors described Myrtle as a sharp dresser, outgoing person and someone who loved to go dancing.

“Just a lovely lady. Very soft-spoken, outgoing. Always on the go,” neighbor Kevin Grayer told CNN affiliate WLS. “Just a happy person. Her personality was just wonderful.”

“She didn’t deserve that,” Grayer said. “She was too good of a person to die like that. That’s just sad.”