Former NFL player Sergio Brown, who had been missing since his mother’s death last month, was taken into custody on Tuesday after a warrant was issued for first-degree murder in her killing, police said in a statement.
Brown, 35, was arrested in San Diego while re-entering the US from Mexico, police in Maywood, Illinois, said. He is awaiting extradition to Maywood, a suburb of Chicago, to face the murder charge, police said.
Mexican law enforcement officers have known Brown’s whereabouts since at least September 19, a law enforcement source familiar with the investigation told CNN, which was first to report Brown’s arrest.
Mexican law enforcement deported him after authorities in Illinois obtained an arrest warrant pertaining to his mother’s death, the source said.
Brown’s deportation was not without incident, the source said, indicating the former NFL player created a disturbance on an extradition flight from Mexico City to Tijuana and was threatened with removal by the plane’s captain.
San Diego Sheriff’s Department inmate records indicated Brown was in the agency’s custody Wednesday and being held on a felony fugitive arrest warrant. A court hearing is set for November 13.
Under US interstate extradition laws, a hearing is required if a defendant does not waive extradition. A court would be required to provide the final sign-off before Brown is removed from California and taken to Illinois.
The body of his mother, Myrtle Brown, 73, was found in a creek behind her Maywood home on September 16, Maywood police said. Relatives had alerted police they’d been unable to find or contact her or her son, police said.
The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office determined she died from injuries related to an assault, and the manner of death was ruled a homicide, according to spokesperson Natalia Derevyanny.
Sergio Brown played defensive back for Notre Dame before signing with the New England Patriots as an undrafted free agent in 2010. He played seven seasons in the NFL as a member of the Patriots, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars and Buffalo Bills.
A day after his mother was found dead, Brown’s brother took to social media to ask for help in finding him.
“My brother Sergio is still missing,” Nick Brown wrote on Instagram. “If anyone knows where he is I want him to know that I love you and please come home.”
“It’s a sad but hopeful time, and we will all get through this together,” Nick Brown wrote. “Mom always told me, ‘tough times don’t last,’ and our last conversation about tough times being temporary is my beacon of hope.
“Mom, thank you for being strong, caring, diligent, fancy, funny, and for saving my art. I won’t let you down.”
Maywood police said last month they were aware of at least one video circulating on social media that appears to show Sergio Brown in a tropical location rambling about “fake news” and claiming he thought his mother was on vacation. It is not clear where or when the video was taken, and police did not confirm to CNN the person in the video is Sergio Brown.
Last week, Myrtle Brown’s family issued a statement through attorney Christian Conway calling on authorities to advance the investigation into her death, saying there was sufficient evidence for an arrest.
“We implore law enforcement agencies, particularly the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, to work diligently and thoroughly in pursuit of truth and accountability for Myrtle Jean Simmons-Brown. No family should bear the weight of uncertainty regarding the circumstances of their loved one’s passing,” the family said.
The family also said they had not been in touch with Sergio Brown since his disappearance.
“We continue to pray for his well-being and advocate for his immediate and safe return to the United States. Let us work together to turn this tragic loss into a force for positive change and justice,” the statement read.
“Myrtle was a beautiful, loving, and inspirational soul that made everyone around her feel like they mattered. With her contagious smile and personality, our loss of Myrtle has left an indescribable void not only in our lives, but in our communities,” the family said.
Amid the search for Sergio Brown, neighbors praised Myrtle Brown to CNN affiliate WBBM.
“Myrtle, she was an outstanding woman, and I’m hoping she’s in the right place and she’s with God,” Carlos Cortez, her next-door neighbor, told WBBM. “I never would’ve expected this in a million years.”
Neighbors described Myrtle as a sharp dresser, outgoing person and someone who loved to go dancing.
“Just a lovely lady. Very soft-spoken, outgoing. Always on the go,” neighbor Kevin Grayer told CNN affiliate WLS. “Just a happy person. Her personality was just wonderful.”
“She didn’t deserve that,” Grayer said. “She was too good of a person to die like that. That’s just sad.”
Correction: A previous version of this story misstated Sergio Brown’s court hearing date. It is set for November 13.