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Funeral set in Middletown for victim in I-75 shooting; family wants killer found

James Brown CONTRIBUTED
James Brown CONTRIBUTED

Family pleads for witnesses to come forward

Funeral services for the man who was shot and killed while traveling on I-75 south Monday afternoon have been set, and the family is pleading with anyone who saw something to come forward to police.

The funeral for James L. Brown, 64, will take place at Baltimore Street Church on Aug. 5.

Ashley Stewart, his granddaughter, told the Dayton Daily News on Thursday that they are concerned that his killer may never be found.

ExploreMiami Twp. police still seek motive, suspects behind deadly daytime I-75 shooting

“We’re searching for more answers and hoping the detectives can put anything together to give us some type of answers, because the nature of how he died, and not knowing why or who or what happened, or what motive there was, I think that’s hurting so much worse than if he passed away naturally,” she said. “(The police are) saying there are so many blanks and nothing’s adding up. It’s a little bit worrying that they might not come up with anything for us to get any type of closure.”

Miami Twp. Police didn’t respond to the Dayton Daily News on Thursday but have called for anyone with information to come forward. They have also asked any truckers with dash cameras who were in the area during the shooting to reach out to them.

Stewart said she is concerned that someone with information might be scared or want to stay out of it. Stewart said she hopes that person finds the courage to step up.

“It’s not fair for someone to die in cold blood like that and not get justice,” she said. “I hope that people take it like it might have been them and just come forward and do the right thing and say something.”

Explore911 caller says deadly I-75 shooting was a drive-by

Stewart remembered Brown as a loving grandfather who always made people laugh. She said he owned a toy booth at Traders World Flea Market and would run the booth with her son, his great-grandson.

“He was always a very active grandfather, he was very active in my life. He was always there for me and a big family man. The bonds that he built with us was the most memorable. He was always playing with you, making you laugh,” Stewart said.

James Brown CONTRIBUTTED
James Brown CONTRIBUTTED

Brown did not have enemies, she said, but also stood up for himself. The family has been theorizing what took place before the shooting and the possibility of him getting in a confrontation with someone.

“My grandmother is convinced that something happened wherever he was before he got on the highway,” Stewart said. “Someone might have said something and he might have said something back because my pawpaw would defend himself. If somebody said something being a smart aleck or anything, he would say something back -- he wasn’t a pushover, he was able to defend himself. So if there was some sort of altercation to piss someone off enough to follow him and kill him that way, my grandmother is convinced that it had to be someone like that and not someone who tracked him down and killed him.”