UPDATE: Missing Clay County Senior Alert ends in homicide probe


Ross Jordan Brand

A Clay County man who was the subject of a statewide Missing Senior Alert was found dead, and police now say he was the victim of homicide.

On Monday, Ashland police were notified that 64-year-old Ross J. Brand was missing. His son, Rodney Brand, notified police about 1:30 p.m. that he had not seen or heard from his father since they both went to bed about 10 p.m. on Sunday, said Ashland Police Chief Joseph Stanford.

The son told investigators his father was showing signs of mild dementia and was known to walk around town. Ashland officer responded to the area and began searching for Brand.

Stanford said the search began to spread out and without any results. Fearing that Brand might have been confused and gotten in the car with someone, officers began the process of getting a Missing Senior Alert issued by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency which was issued at 3 p.m. Monday.

As police continued their search, Southeastern Search and Rescue out of Shelby County joined in, bringing one of their tracking dogs. The search team hit the ground about 7 p.m. Monday, Stanford said. “The dog was able to get a scent trail and followed it to where officers found Mr. Ross Brand deceased,’’ the chief said.

The scene was cordoned off, and investigators – including Jacksonville State University’s Applied Forensics Team, along with the 40th Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office, responded to the location. The scene was processed, and Stanford said they deemed Brand’s death was a homicide.

He said because of the sensitive nature of the case, no additional information is being released at this time.

Anyone with information is asked to call Ashland police at 256-354-2122 or contact investigators at [email protected]. Police said they will work with tipsters who wish to remain anonymous.