News On 6 Cold Case Story Helps Son Find His Father

Friday, July 10th 2015, 5:12 pm
By: News On 6

In May, I did a story about the Federal Bureau of Investigation's new fingerprint matching system that's three times more accurate than the previous one.

I told you how remains that have been at the Medical Examiner's Office for decades are now being identified - but in many cases, those remains hadn't been claimed by families.

I've learned this story helped one man finally find his father.

The last time David Brewer saw his father was in 1971. David was 21 then. In 1985, David came to Tulsa to get answers. His aunt told him, his father had gone missing five years earlier after cashing his first Social Security check. So for the past 30 years, David did a computer search for his dad every 90 days.

A few days ago, that search ended when he found my story.
"Lori, I was really shocked when I - because I immediately recognized my father. To see his picture pop up on my monitor. I watched it five times before being really convinced," said David Brewer.
I had reported Tulsa police found a man in May of 1980 in an overgrown field. They couldn't identify him because his body was in bad shape, but investigators made castings of his hands and the ME's office kept those castings all these years.

5/18/2015 Related Story: New Fingerprint Technology Helping Solve Oklahoma Cold Cases

They recently sent those castings to Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation and compared those prints to a fingerprint card from when Edward Brewer served time in prison as a young man back in the '30s in Oklahoma. The new fingerprint database made a match, and police learned his identity.

Police couldn't find his family, so in the national Missing and Unidentified Persons database, they moved Brewer from unidentified to unclaimed.
Now, his son wants to claim him.

"I want to give him a headstone. I just don't know where to go put it," Brewer said.

The funeral home has since closed and their records lost. Edward is most likely buried in a pauper's grave in Tulsa and the ME's office is searching old records in hopes of finding him.

It's been quite a journey for David.

Lori Fullbright: "Was it emotional?"
David Brewer: "Oh, yeah, to say the least, yeah."

OSBI encourages all departments to send them prints from old missing persons cases and unsolved homicides because prints that didn't get a match before, could now - and more families can get answers, like David.
"I certainly appreciate what you've done.  It was really remarkable. I was impressed  and again, I appreciate it a lot," he said.
If you are looking for a missing loved on or want to report someone missing, it's never too late and with this new technology, now is the time.  

National Missing And Unidentified Persons System

Oklahoma State Office Of The Chief Medical Examiner