Mercille Brown murder: Family still fears mother’s uncaught killer 40 years later; detectives still trying to solve case

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KILLER WANTED IN SEATTLE — Seattle Police detectives believe the killer of a Seattle woman four decades ago this weekend — can still be caught — and the victim`s family is hoping someone can make that happen.

“She was a very giving person, loved her family,” Lateefah says, talking about her aunt. She was just two years old when Mercille Brown was murdered. “According to my mother and other family members she was a very loving individual and she dedicated all of her time to her children.”

The 29 year old divorced mother of three was found stabbed to death in her boyfriend’s home on January 30th, 1975.

Seattle Police Det. Michael Ciesynski took over the investigation several years ago. “She was returning home from a party, and nobody else was in the residence,”Ciesynski recalls.

And immediately, the questions started piling up. Lateefah wonders, “Was it jealousy? Was it due to a relationship? What could possibly make you kill this individual in the manner of which they did?”

Detective Ciesynski asks some of the same questions, “Was it an ex-lover, was it over a debt, was it over jealousy? Was it a woman who did it? We keep saying it’s a man, well, we don’t know.”

Police started interviewing the people in Brown's life. Ciesynski recalls, “Her ex- husband, who actually was living in Las Vegas at the time, a couple of ex-boyfriends, everybody that she came in contact with the detectives at the time were able to locate and interview them, in some cases take a polygraph exam, actually they gave a lot of polygraph exams.” But nothing pointed them to her killer. Then two decades later when DNA testing became available, police continued working this case.  “A couple of people of interest were ruled out due to some DNA that we obtained at the crime scene,” Ciesynski added.

The house where the murder happened is still on 21st Ave. in Seattle and so are the unanswered questions of what happened to Mercille. Police did say whoever killed her likely had cuts on their hands that morning and they’re hoping that information will help jar someone’s memory four decades later. “They did a lot of work, bringing people in and trying to check alibis and also kind of looking to see if they had any injuries on them,” Ciesynski said.

Given the amount of time that has passed, police and the family are hoping someone talks and tells what they know -- to finally end the mental torment. “You don’t think too much about the cases that you solve, you think about the cases that have not been solved,” Ciesynski said. Lateefah adds, “I’m hoping that whoever it is, is brought to justice. I would like to find out why. Because I don’t know if the person’s here in Seattle, and they’re just walking among us. I might be interacting with that person and don’t know it.”

If you know anything about the murder of Mercille Brown, call an anonymous tip into:
CRIME STOPPERS: 1-800-222-TIPS

You must call the Crime Stoppers hotline with your tip to be eligible to receive a cash reward for information leading to a fugitive’s arrest.

CLICK HERE for information on how to TEXT A TIP to Crime Stoppers.

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