Details of Disappearance
Ramona was last seen in New Orleans, Louisiana on March 6, 1984. At 3:00 a.m. there was a fire at her residence in the 2600 block of Memorial Park Drive in the neighborhood of Algiers, were she lived with her parents and nine siblings.
The fire killed Ramona's two youngest brothers, four-year-old Kevin and two-year-old Aubrey Jr., and their badly burned remains were found in what was left of the home after the blaze was extinguished. Both boys had been asleep on the sofa in the living room when the fire started, while Ramona had been asleep alone in one of the bedrooms. The Brown family heard the two boys screaming for help, but were unable to rescue them. They did not hear Ramona.
Ramona's six-year-old sister, Simona, later stated she and Ramona both escaped the burning home and while they were walking away from it, a vehicle driven by an unidentified man and woman stopped and asked the girls if they needed help. Ramona got into the car after the couple offered to look after her. She was never seen again.
A third set of remains was located in the ruins of the home, was assumed to be Ramona's, and was sent to the coroner's office along with the boys' bodies. However, the third body turned out to be from an animal, and after this was realized the investigators went back to the site of the fire to look for Ramona.
They searched for days at the site of the fire and in the surrounding neighborhood, but never found her. Ramona's family also searched for her themselves but didn't find any sign of her either.
In spite of this, Ramona was not listed as a kidnapping or potential homicide victim at the time. The authorities assumed she had died like her brothers and that they hadn't been able to locate her due to the extensive destruction the fire caused. It wasn't until 2018, when Simona filed a missing persons report for her sister, than an investigation began into her disappearance.
Simona is the only member of the family who recalled seeing Ramona after the fire. She described the couple who took her sister as "an old black man and an old white lady" and told her mother about them the day after the fire, but did not tell her story to the police at the time. She described the couple's vehicle as a "bronze-looking old Cadillac."
A few days after the fire, Ramona's grandmother got a strange phone call from someone who identified herself as "Al" which was Ramona's family nickname. The grandmother asked "Al" where she was at, then the line went dead. Ramona's grandmother believes the call was from Ramona.
The authorities were not able to rule out arson, but speculated a malfunctioning gas heater was to blame. However, the Browns stated the gas heater was in the bathroom, two doors down from the bedroom where the fire started. Although it is possible Ramona died in the fire, arson investigators think it's very unlikely that her remains could have been completely consumed, especially as the fire was brought under control in only thirty to forty minutes.
The Brown family rebuilt the burned house and remained living there after Ramona's disappearance, in the hopes that she might eventually come back to them. Her disappearance is being considered a possible non-family abduction and remains unsolved.