|Thomas Phillip Brown (mug shot TCSO)|
Police in Branson have arrested a man from Palm Springs, California who is accused of gunning down his wife last week in a hotel room in the tourist town.
An intense search for Thomas Phillip Brown had been underway since his wife, Marilyn Jean Brown, 63, was found shot to death in room 182 at the Ramada Inn Resort and Conference Center on Sunday (02-24-13.).
The Brown's checked into the hotel on February 21st and were due to check out on the 24th. A housekeeper discovered the woman's body when he went to clean the room. Authorities believe she had been dead for at least twenty four hours before her remains were found.
Authorities discovered sixty eight year-old man's vehicle in front of the Hampton Inn at 3695 W. Highway 76, which is within a few miles of the Ramada Inn, about 2 a.m. this (02-28-13) morning.
"After conferring with hotel management, Branson Police Department officer’s made entry into the suspect’s room," said Police Chief Ken Crutcher.
Cops then got a search warrant for the room and Brown's vehicle. Authorities say the found a firearm in the room. Ballistic testing will determine if the weapon was used to kill his wife.
On Tuesday, Thomas Brown was charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action and a warrant was issued for his arrest. Taney County Prosecutor Jeff Merrell has asked that Brown be held without bond.
The couple, who left their home in Palm Springs on Valentines' day, were in the process of relocating to the area from Palm Springs. Marilyn Brown's daughter told investigators that Thomas Brown did not want to move to Branson. A statement from police says that Thomas Brown was upset that the couple had to reside out of hotel rooms "due to being displaced from the place they had planned to reside."
There is no word on whether or not the family pet, Shiloh, was with Brown when he was arrested.
Update - Brown took Shiloh to an animal shelter in Kansas before returning to Branson, according to a family friend.
Brown was ordered to stand trial for his wife's murder after he waived his preliminary hearing.