Columbia mom mourns loss of sailor son, demands answers in murder investigation

Corneilius Brown, 22, was on active duty and stationed at Naval Base Coronado when he was shot...
Corneilius Brown, 22, was on active duty and stationed at Naval Base Coronado when he was shot and killed at his apartment.(La Mesa Police Department)
Published: Sep. 28, 2021 at 4:24 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 29, 2021 at 3:26 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The South Carolina mother of a sailor who was murdered while stationed in California is demanding answers about the investigation.

Cornelius Donte Brown, 22, was fatally shot inside of his La Mesa apartment on April 24.

According to reports, two men knocked on Brown’s door before shooting him in the chest and neck.

Brown joined the Navy in 2018 and was a Petty Officer 3rd Class assigned to the USS Abraham Lincoln.

He was on active duty and stationed at Naval Base Coronado when he was shot.


Brown’s parents say they’ve received no information from the La Mesa Police Department or the Navy regarding the murder of their son.

The family says they need help from law enforcement and they aren’t getting it.

After seeing the attention that the Gabby Petito case has received, Brown’s mother says she wants her son’s murder solved.

“That upset me. My heart goes out to the family, but what about my child. My child has been serving his country, active duty, a good person and he may have got media attention that weekend it happened,” Adrienne Brown-Mills said. “Here is a young girl the same age they know who killed her, but they’re still talking about it. It upsets me.”

Brown’s mother says she feels like someone out there knows something and she just wants them to come forward so she can have closure.

The La Mesa Police Department released a statement regarding the incident saying:

“Detectives from the La Mesa Police Department Investigations Division have been actively investigating and following up on leads regarding the murder of Cornelius Donte Brown since the crime occurred. 

Due to the ongoing nature of the investigation, we are unable to release any further details at this time- but we are in communication with Donte’s family and want to assure the public that we are using every resource available to solve this crime. 

If anyone has information regarding this crime, they are asked to contact the La Mesa Police Department at (619) 667-1400 or They may also call Crime Stoppers’ anonymous toll-free tip line (888) 580-TIPS (or They can remain anonymous, and be eligible for a Crime Stoppers reward for information leading to an arrest in this case.”

A $10,000 reward is being offered for information that could lead to an arrest in this case.

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