Missing Wayne State student found dead near Packard Plant

Tiane BrownThe body of a missing Wayne State University student was found today in a parking lot near the Packard Plant on Detroit’s east side.

Police said they found Tiane Brown’s body – shot at least once –  in her SUV at Frontenac and East Grand Boulevard.

“Our sympathies go out to her family, including her three children and her parents, as well as all of the members of the Wayne Law family who knew Tiane,” said Lance Gable, a professor at the law school. “She was an exceptional and extremely active student at Wayne Law.”

Detroit police said two men were earlier taken into custody for possessing Brown’s cell phone, but it’s unclear whether they are connected to her death.

“We are still searching for a motive,” Police Chief James Craig said.

Brown was a third-year law student from Waterford and had a master’s degree in biomedical engineering. She ran a nonprofit and was a standout student, university president M. Roy Wilson said today.

“It is a senseless and tragic loss,” Wilson said. “I can’t even begin to express the loss that her family must be feeling.”

She was last seen at 8:15 p.m. Monday at the university’s law school.

She raised suspicions after failing to pick up her three children in West Bloomfield.

The cause of her death is unknown. The Packard has been the scene of numerous crimes for decades, but police rarely patrol the area and allow a large scrapping operation to go unimpeded.

“We need to be angry about the level of violence in the city of Detroit,” Chief Craig said.

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.

  • StretchRun

    Detroit needs to get rid of politics as usual in the city. Like Freud said, the definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing and expecting different results. Life is worse by far in Detroit than in any city in America. Forget black and white and start thinking about green. The politicians are all going to be out there convincing voters to continue their same politics because they benefit, legally and illegally. The people need to decide what they want for themselves. This murder is a disgrace.

  • bebow

    The criminals have to go. Now.

    • Sean

      What would you have police do? It is not their job to bodyguard everyone in the city. Cops do not prevent crime. They investigate afterwards. As sad as this case is, there is nothing police could have done.

      • PBD

        Completely disagree. Police are supposed to prevent crime, not clean up after. The overlying idea is that a visible police presence keeps things in check. “Protect and serve”.

        • Sean

          Actually, they aren’t required to do so. The Supreme Court(Warren v. District of Columbia(444 A.2d. 1, D.C. Ct. of Ap. 1981and Castle Rock v. Gonzales, 545 U.S. 748 (2005),) has ruled that the police have to no obligation to do protect anyone. Legally, all they are required to do investigate and arrest. In this case, and almost every other crime, there is nothing police can do. At least

          • jamie

            You are right the police do not have a duty to any individual to prevent them from being a victim of crime – you are wrong that the police can’t prevent crime. In Detroit, our focus on response time, has turned the police into “report takers” after the crime. In progressive cities, that focus on predictive policing, crime has been substantially reduced.

          • PBD

            Didn’t say they’re “required” to protect individuals as a bodyguard would. (btw, may I suggest that law enforcement change their motto, if they don’t feel the responsibility to protect citizens) I said that a clear police presence PREVENTS crime. It’s a very well known fact supported by many, many legitimate studies. A good comparison is shoplifting. The likelihood of shoplifting occurring when there’s a guard posted at the front door drops dramatically, when compared to an unattended front door. The guard isn’t really doing anything in particular, except being there. The guard isn’t personally addressing shoppers or profiling anyone, he or she is just there. It’s a presence. It shows that crime will be addressed swiftly when it happens. It shows that the business is aware of and cares about what happens. Communities with a strong police presence have far lower crime rates. It’s as simple as that.
            I also think you may be taking liberties with the true essence of that ruling. Imagine if the crime occurred while the police were present. Would the outcome of this case have been the same? Would they have had an obligation to protect then?

          • Sean

            No. They aren’t. That is the point of the rulings. That the police aren’t required to do a thing. As far as having more police. Great idea. Where does Detroit get them? Their department is severely understaffed.Less than 2000 officers total. Only any given shift, there are maybe 100 officers actually on patrol. In a vast, mostly empty city. So that makes about 6500 people each one is responsible for. And they are quite old. I think the average officer is in their early 40s. Most are near retirement. With no real replacements. They are supposedly hiring new officers. For $13 an hour. No pension. Crap benefits. You can imagine the quality applicants they get. With the city in bankruptcy, it can’t spend the money the police need. This situation will only get worse.

      • bebow


      • ThePeopleofDetroit

        “Cops do not prevent crime.”

        Actually, that’s exactly what cops do. Sigh.

    • Chien

      sometimes Citizens have to look out for themselves since cops won’t patrol such a bad area cause they either are scared of it but deny that they’re scared or lazy to check the area