For the family of Little Rock businessman John Glasgow, having authorities suspend a search for his remains is both a blessing and a curse. According to Glasgow’s brother, Roger, it means the continuation of a nightmare they started four years ago when John went missing. However, the latest development in the case from a Faulkner County inmate was an ordeal he wishes his family could have been spared.
John Brawner, a man currently incarcerated in the Faulkner County Detention Center for stalking his ex-wife and for violating the order of protection she filed against him, told authorities that he knew where Glasgow’s body was buried because he had helped bury him the night of his disappearance. Brawner has denied having any part in Glasgow’s death.
After searching an area in Lonoke County with advanced sonar equipment based on a tip from Brawner and not finding Glasgow’s remains, Roger says that he hopes Brawner receives a hefty prison sentence for his most recent conviction.
"This man has stepped on the feelings of a family who still do not have answers as to what happened to their loved one for no apparent reason," he said. "He (Brawner) gave a false report to the police and he is the worst person I have ever heard of. I hope he goes to prison for a very long time."
Roger said that he was notified by the authorities that the search did not yield any clues as to where his brother may be and that has left his family back where they started when John first disappeared.
"We are back to ground zero," he said. "We had conflicted feelings on this search because if John’s remains had been found, we would have known where he was but also that he had been murdered. We would have been able to have some peace knowing that we could give him a proper burial but finding him would have been tainted with the fact that we don’t know who murdered him. I’m not sure in this situation which is better."
Brawner’s attorney, Frank Shaw said that as of Tuesday morning, his client was still adamant that he knows where Glasgow is buried.
"My client continues to maintain that the information he gave the authorities is accurate," Shaw said. "It is a big field, just because the body was not found in the areas the authorities searched, does not mean the body is not there. Just like just because my client says the body is there doesn’t mean it is. My client maintains he is being truthful and I have cooperated with law enforcement in every capacity, but I do not know where the body is or if there is a body."
Cody Hiland, Twentieth Judicial District prosecuting attorney, said that always intended to ask for a harsh sentence for Brawner and the latest development in the Glasgow case was a ploy by Brawner to get a lighter sentence.
"Whether or not the story had any validity, our intention has always been to request that the court give the maximum penalty allowed by law for his stalking conviction," Hiland said. "However, my heart goes out to the Glasgow family. It is hard to imagine the enormous sense of loss they must have been dealing with since their family member’s disappearance and now to have their hopes for some resolution raised and then dashed by this criminal just so he could have his attorney attempt to leverage our office for a better deal on sentencing is unconscionable. Make no mistake about it, that is exactly what he was attempting to do throughout this sordid episode."
Shaw said that he does not deny that his client was looking for a better deal for his upcoming sentence hearing on the stalking conviction, but said that this type of arrangement is used often during legal proceedings.
"I am not going to deny Brawner was looking for a better deal because it is a common practice to provide information in hopes of a better sentence," Shaw said. "I have clients right now at the city, county, state and federal level who expect a better deal if they cooperate with authorities. It is part of the system, every attorney is aware that this happens. I have cooperated with the prosecuting attorney’s office in matters like this before and worked with them just last week in the Jaquez murder case to pass along information that lead to a plea deal."
While the search for John Glasgow’s remains may have been suspended in Lonoke County, the investigation into his disappearance remains active. Roger says it is his family’s wish that the mystery behind his brother’s disappearance be solved, once and for all.
"Every family that has ever lost a loved one the way we have, would give anything for a measure of peace," he said. "They never find peace until they know what happened. My family would like that opportunity."
John Glasgow was the CFO of CDI Contractors and was reported missing on January 28, 2008, when he did not show up to work. His vehicle was found a few days later at Petit Jean State Park.
(Candie Beck is a staff writer and can be reached at 505-1238 or at firstname.lastname@example.org)