‘Two peas in a pod’: Community mourns loss of Jessie and ShaNeal Brown, victims of double homicide

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A Thursday evening murder left community members mourning the loss of two women. Deputies say the victims were 18-year-old ShaNeal Brown and 83-year-old Jessie Brown. Both women had been stabbed.

“Ms. Brown was the type of person that you couldn’t help but to get close to,” said Columbia Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins. “She was always willing to help. It didn’t matter who it was, where it was, she was always willing to help.”

Chief Jenkins said he went to church with Ms. Brown. He described her as thoughtful, caring, and he thought of her as family.

“She was a great mother figure to me because she was just that type of person. She was just humbled and spirited,” Jenkins said.

Richland County deputies said Rafael Brown, 44, is charged with two counts of murder. Deputies confirm the victims are his mother and daughter.

ShaNeal was a student at Eau Claire High School and was set to graduate in May. A family friend said she was driven and had high goals.

Her grandmother, Jessie Brown worked at Fantasy Island Daycare for more than 30 years—serving as one of the longest working staff members.

“She definitely was 100% behind ShaNeal and making sure that she had everything she needed to graduate and go beyond high school and college,” said family friend Dominic Sims. “She always made sure she was taken care of. They were like two peas in a pod. So, if you see one, you would see the other. So they definitely were very, very close, and you could tell that, and you could tell that they really cared for one another.”

Sims and Alexis Atkins, another family friend, said the women are unforgettable and were loved by all. Atkins said she met Ms. Brown when she was just a little girl.

“I knew her since I was a toddler in elementary school,” Atkins said. “So, that just shows the longevity of just the bond that we shared together and the relationship that we had, outside of work or church or those different natures. It’s definitely a relationship that I would cherish.”

The owner of the daycare, Ron Scott, said Ms. Brown touched everyone she met and was always loving and positive.

“I used to tease her and call her, at her age of 80 plus, the energizer bunny, because at 80+ she never walked with any type of walking stick or any assistance,” Scott said. “She would be out in the playground running with the kids like someone 20 or 30 years younger.”

Scott said ShaNeal grew up in the daycare and he had the chance to watch her grow up. He said ShaNeal was more like a daughter than a granddaughter to Ms. Brown.

“She had a tremendous impact on children and parents,” Scott said. “That’s the lasting impact that I want everyone to know. She Lived. She made a difference and some child’s life is better and will be better because Jessie Brown crossed their path.”

Source & Credit: wltx.com

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