Families of La La Brown, her producer hoping for breakthrough in murder investigation
MILWAUKEE- Five years after the murder of a rising R&B singer and her producer, Milwaukee police and the victims' families are trying to find a breakthrough in the case.
Back on October 19, 2007, Milwaukee police were called to 55th and Lisbon for a gruesome double murder. Yolanda Brown, a rising R&B singer, and JeTaannue Clayborne, her producer, were gunned down. Five years later the murderer is still out there.
Yolanda "La La" Brown's big music break came with a 2006 duet with Lyfe Jennings. But a year after the song was released, Brown was silenced by violence.
"I was shocked, total shocked", explained a sobbing William Brown. Mr. Brown still struggles when talking about the loss of his daughter.
La La and Clayborne lived together at the music studio in Milwaukee. The studio is where their lives ended.
Mr. Brown remembers last talking to his daughter on a Monday night. "She just kissed me on the cheek like she always do," said Brown.
Two days went by and nobody heard from the couple. "So we drove down there, my wife and I knocked on the door and couldn't hear or see nothing," explained the father.
By Friday, four days later, both families started to worry.
JeTannue's brother decided to call Mr. Brown from outside the music studio. "He said 'I'm going in.' I heard something go boom and evidently he walked in. There was a deep sigh...then he came back to the phone and said 'I just found them. They're both dead,'" reflected Mr. Brown.
"That was the beginning of the worse nightmare which everyone knows still isn't solved," said Alicia Brown, La La's sister.
Alicia agreed to return to the crime scene. "I never thought I'd be back in here," she explained. TODAY'S TMJ4 cameras were allowed access inside the crime scene for the first time.
Alicia teared up as she reflected on where her sister was discovered inside the studio. But the Brown family wants the community to realize that five years later the pain of losing La La is still difficult.
Over the years, Milwaukee police interviewed several people. The lead detective has visited dozens of state prisons and following up on tips. They have looked at several people of interest. But the case is not cracked yet.
There's now a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. The families want answers and detectives need tips. "It's going to take the whole community to come together and crack this case," said Alicia Brown.
If you have information on this case or any cold case in Milwaukee, contact MPD's Cold Case Unit at (414) 935-7411.