Police departments handled situation professionally

Published 5:48 pm Friday, March 2, 2012

Dear Editor,

Early in the afternoon of Tuesday, Jan. 3, the most heart-wrenching of experiences that a person could possibly endure on this earth happened to me: I learned that a family member–one of my brothers–had been heinously murdered just a couple of days before.

I had been unable to make telephone contact with him on Jan. 1 and 2, so I filed a missing person’s report with the Clanton Police Department. Before I ever stepped foot into the police department on Jan. 3, I had this feeling that something terrible was wrong, but it was only after it was discovered that my brother’s debit card had been used several times erratically that my realization had come true: My brother was in trouble.

At that point, the Clanton Police Department had already put things into action. However, we were unaware that my brother had already been murdered in Selma two days prior and that his body was in Montgomery at the state forensics lab as a “John Doe.” When it looked like the person at the state lab might be my brother, I had to get with Clanton Police Department officers to identify him.

The next day my other brother, William, and I met in Selma with Sgt. John Hatfield of the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department. He told us about my other brother’s murder as he understood the facts to be at that time. William and I are so appreciative of the speed and accuracy in which the sheriff’s department worked this case with Clanton Police Department to get Carl Brown off the streets of Selma, once it was determined he had stolen my brother’s vehicle and was using my brother’s debit card illegally.

Over the past weeks, I have met with Sgt. Mike Granthum as well, and he has been so professional in working with me in this case. Anything that I need to know, he is there to answer my questions. Dallas County residents: You need to know what an exceptional sheriff’s department you have. They have the ultimate concern for you, whom they are protecting, and they know how to work their cases.

My family will always be indebted to these deputies for how they have helped us and will continue to help us in this devastating incident.

Mary Burnett Burt, Millbrook