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2 jailed for murder in missing teen case

A Decatur teenager and a juvenile male have been arrested and charged with murder in the case of missing 19-year-old Matthew Ryan Brown of Decatur.

Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin said information provided by the two suspects led them to the discovery of a body, believed to be that of Brown, in the Deep Creek area near Boyd Tuesday morning. Brown had been missing since Sunday, March 5.


Austin James Acree, 17, of Decatur was arrested on a first degree felony charge of murder Tuesday morning and has bond set at $100,000, according to Wise County Jail records. Akin said the juvenile, whose name and age were not released, has also been charged with murder in the case.

Brown was last seen near his home off Farm Road 2264 in the Oliver Creek area between New Fairview and Decatur on March 5 when his mother dropped him off at the end of their driveway in order for him to wait on a co-worker to provide him a ride to his place of employment, a Walmart in Denton.

When Brown didn’t come back home the next day, his mother called the Denton Walmart and discovered her son had not been to the store and had not been scheduled to work on Sunday.

Sheriff’s office investigators began searching for Brown and were able to “ping” Brown’s phone in the area of Texas 114 north of Newark.

Brown’s family took to social media in hopes someone may have information about what happened to him.

Akin said investigators talked to Brown’s friends, and someone finally came forward with information that “got the investigation in high gear.”

Investigators identified two people who they believed were the last two to have contact with Brown about the time he went missing. Both were interviewed Monday, and investigators were able to determine both suspects were involved in Brown’s disappearance, Akin said.

A search warrant was issued and served at the Decatur home of Acree and the Aurora home of the juvenile, and after evidence was gathered, the two suspects were charged with murder.

“During the interview of the suspects, we had a Texas Ranger working with our investigators, and we learned about where Matt was last seen along Deep Creek along County Road 4227, so with the help of cadaver dogs, his remains were discovered about 10:30 (Tuesday) morning. His remains were found alongside Deep Creek,” Akin said.

The body was sent to the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy to determine the cause and manner of death.

Akin said investigators are working to determine the possible motive for the crime.

“That’s the big question that we all want to know, why was this young man who probably had a lot of potential, why was he taken out of this world in such a violent manner? We hope that as the investigation continues, we will be able to answer those questions,” he said.

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