Judith Anne Brown

Brown, circa 1977; Richard Reisenberg

  • Missing Since 04/06/1977
  • Missing From Queens, New York
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Female
  • Race White
  • Date of Birth 11/14/1957 (66)
  • Age 19 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'2 - 5'6, 110 - 130 pounds
  • Medical Conditions Brown suffers from mental illness, perhaps obsessive-compulsive disorder and/or an eating disorder. At the time of her disappearance and had recently been discharged from an inpatient psychiatric program. She was supposed to take mulitple medications, one of which was Valium.
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian female. Sandy brown hair, green eyes. Brown's second toe is longer than her first toe on both feet. Her shoe size is 7 or 8. Her nickname is Judy.

Details of Disappearance

Brown went missing on April 6, 1977 in the company of Richard E. Reisenberg, who was a patient at Creedmore Psychiatic Center in the New York City borough of Queens.

Brown had been admitted to Creedmoor as a voluntary patient in August 1976, after she had a mental breakdown. She was only in the facility about a day or two before she transferred to Hillside Medical Center, but she had time to meet Reisenberg at Creedmoor. They began dating each other while inpatient at their respective hospitals. In January, just as Brown was transitioning to an outpatient program at Hillside, Reisenberg proposed and Brown agreed to marry him.

A photo of Reisenberg is posted with this case summary. He started developing behavior problems as a child. Twice before his fifteenth birthday he tried to take his own life, and as an adolescent he was diagnosed with "schizoid personality with a possible onset of schizophrenic disorder."

In 1971, he killed his wife and their 17-month-old son, stabbing her sixty times and strangling the baby to death. At the time of the killings, the couple had been having marital difficulties: Reisenberg's wife suffered from cataracts, their son was disabled, and Reisenberg himself had had multiple extramarital affairs and felt frustrated and inadequate in his career.

He was found not guilty of the murders by reason of insanity in 1973, and received two-thirds of his wife's life insurance policy. This was over $11,000 and, with inflation, would be worth about $78,000 today.

After his arrival at Creedmore, Reisenberg made multiple applications for early release and started leaving the hospital grounds on unescorted, unauthorized day trips in the surrounding community, using the insurance money to pay for him to eat at restaurants, attend sports games and have his clothing tailored.

A ward supervisor found out, and wrote a recommendation that Reisenberg be transferred to a maximum security hospital. Before this could be done, Reisenberg walked away from Creedmore and vanished with Brown.

About a month after Brown disappeared, she called her sister to say she was okay, and from their short conversation Brown's sister thought she was with Reisenberg because she wanted to be.

Riesenberg was considered a fugitive from justice after he left Creedmoor. He is known to have been living in Colorado, possibly raising a family, in the mid-1990s. In June 1994, he contacted a lawyer to ask about turning himself in, but changed his mind. He is believed to have been still alive as recently in 2000, and would be in his late seventies today.

He and Brown have never been located. Due to Reisenberg's history of violent behavior, Brown is considered to be in danger from him. Her case remains unsolved.

Investigating Agency

  • New York Police Department 212-694-7781

Updated 2 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated July 1, 2024; medical conditions and details of disappearance updated.