FBI: Fugitive Jason Brown could be hiding among Mormons

A one-time Salt Lake City resident sought in the fatal shooting of an Arizona armored truck courier could be taking advantage of philanthropic Mormon church members, the FBI's lead agent on the case said.

Jason Brown is accused of shooting Robert Keith Palomares five times in the head at close range with a .45-caliber handgun on Nov. 29, 2004, outside a Phoenix theater. The FBI says Brown made off with $56,000 on a bicycle he ditched that yielded his fingerprints.

Investigators believe Brown then jumped into his BMW that was parked near the AMC Ahwatukee 24 movie theater and vanished.

The last confirmed sighting of Brown was in August 2008, when a friend spotted the fugitive at a stoplight near the Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City, where he lived just months prior to the murder. He bought a handgun at a Kearns gun store two weeks before the crime, and the weapon was later linked to Palomares' death.

The 43-year-old Brown is good at lying and convincing people that he's someone else and could be taking advantage of a Mormon church member's philanthropy, FBI Agent Lance Leising said.

Leising told The Salt Lake Tribune that his ability to blend in is one reason he's on the Top 10 Most Wanted list.

The FBI has also updated its wanted flyer for Brown to include age progression photos.

"With the commonness of his name and how he looks, like a surfer dude in California, we've had more tips (about this) fugitive than any other on `America's Most Wanted.' It's caused us to chase leads all around the world," Leising said.

Brown served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in France. He later earned a master's degree in business, and started two businesses.

Brown, who is fluent in French, was known as a person who likes to party often showing off his lavish lifestyle that included several cars and boats.

An Arizona arrest warrant was issued in 2004 charging Brown with first-degree murder and armed robbery. Brown later was charged with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution in a federal arrest warrant.

The matching fingerprints came from an application Brown submitted weeks earlier in Utah for a concealed-weapons permit. Utah authorities held the license because of the shooting, and it was never issued.

The FBI, according to its wanted flyer , says Brown has ties to California, Arizona and Utah. 

There is a $100,000 leading to the arrest of Jason Derek Brown.

Print this article Back to Top