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Chinelle LaToya Browne disappearance: Person of interest has homes in NYC and Suffolk, source says

Police investigate the scene on Boylston Street where

Police investigate the scene on Boylston Street where a human head was found in the yard of a Hempstead village home on Thursday, July 17, 2014. Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

A person of interest in the grisly slaying of someone sources have said is a missing Brooklyn mother is known to have residences in New York City and Suffolk County, according to a law enforcement source.

Police in Suffolk and Nassau, as well as NYPD detectives, are involved in the investigation of the disappearance of Chinelle LaToya Browne, 27, who was reported missing July 8. Remains discovered in Bay Shore and Hempstead are believed by investigators to be those of Browne, a Guyanese immigrant who had four children. The most recent remains were a head found Thursday night in Hempstead. Police are awaiting DNA test results to confirm the identity of the remains.

The person of interest, who lives in Brooklyn, has not been identified but has been in police sights since the early days of the investigation, a second law enforcement source said.

Suffolk police are the lead investigative agency in the case. But evidence the death occurred within city limits could put the case under NYPD jurisdiction. NYPD officials referred a reporter to Suffolk police, who didn't return calls seeking comment Friday.

Court and city property records show questionable transactions regarding the ownership of the aging, two-story building where Browne lived at 346 Sumpter St., including the signature on a deed of a man who had been dead for four months. In addition, the family of the dead man, Garth Lewis, is involved in a contentious lawsuit with his widow over his remains and her right to inherit the building.

Lewis died on Feb. 26, 2013, of what the city medical examiner found were natural causes. Lewis acquired the building in 1996, records show. But in June 2013, four months after Lewis died, a deed stated that he had transferred the property to a man who lived in the building, according to city records. Additional records bore a signature purported to be that of Lewis.

Other records showed that Lewis' widow, Janett Lloyd, deeded the property to herself in October 2013, claiming she was his sole surviving heir. Brooklyn state court records showed Lloyd and Lewis' relatives, including his mother, battling over his property and the disposition of his body, which was cremated in March. Otis Thompson, an attorney for Lloyd, declined to comment.

A law enforcement official said police have been reviewing the property records for the building and are aware of the real estate transactions.


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