Father of murdered Vancouver man offers $50,000 reward

He was stabbed to death in 2007

By John Branton, Columbian Staff Reporter


Updated: February 15, 2012, 6:53 PM

photoDonald Brown, murder victim.

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Donald James Brown was a hard-working man who made big money working on a large Alaskan fishing vessel and took a lesser-paying job in the Vancouver area to be with his son, Dustin.

But in February 2007, Donald Brown was found dead in his Orchards home, stabbed in the head and back by an unknown assailant.

Now his father, Donald Brown Sr., a semi-retired insurance agent who lives in Gresham, Ore., is offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the unsolved murder.

Brown was stabbed in his back with a large hunting knife, an injury that severed his spine, his father said.

His son was 39 and Dustin was 11.

“Hopefully someone will come forward,” the father said. “Times are tough and $50,000 doesn’t grow on trees.”

With the murder unsolved by Major Crimes Team detectives with the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, the victim’s family has searched for witnesses and information on their own.

The family also is working with a new crop of sheriff’s detectives, supervised by Sgt. Kevin Allais. They all yearn for the killer or killers to be identified, arrested and convicted.

The father said his son was a hard worker who had to leave a job paying about $120,000 a year as an engineer on a large fishing and ice-packing vessel, called a “mother ship,” in Alaska to take care of Dustin. At the time of his murder, he was working as an engineer at Frito-Lay.

Donald Brown Jr. worked double shifts and, as he did so, a woman friend was bleeding his money by not paying the bills, including his mortgage, the father said.

The murdered man was athletic and knew how to fight, the father said, adding that no illegal drugs were found in his system during an autopsy.

The victim had been in bed and got up when someone knocked on his door. When the younger Brown admitted the visitor, he was stabbed in the back, his father said.

“It is sickening to have a child die before you,” the father said. “It never gets better. If you have a child that’s murdered, it’s hell everyday.”

The sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit is asking the public for information in the case.

John Branton: 360-735-4513 or john.branton@columbian.com.