Missing Harrisonburg Man Found Shot To Death

Brent Finnegan -- March 6th, 2011

A man who was reported missing Thursday evening was discovered dead in his car in the parking lot of the Valley Mall Sunday morning.

UPDATE: The DNR reported Monday that Brown, a private investigator, was shot to death.

Harrisonburg police released a statement Saturday morning, seeking information about the whereabouts of A. Greg Brown. At approximately 9:30 a.m. Sunday, HPD received a tip with information on the location of Brown’s vehicle.

The Daily News-Record reported Brown was found in the trunk of his car, and that the HPD is treating Brown’s death as a homicide. The exact cause of death has not yet been made public.

HPD is seeking Ali Abid, 49, of Weyers Cave. Investigators believe that Abid was the last person in contact with Brown.

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50 Responses to “Missing Harrisonburg Man Found Shot To Death”

  1. Brooke says:

    I was really hoping this would have a happy ending. :-(

    My thoughts and prayers are with the victim’s friends and family. I hope they catch whoever did it.

  2. Sympathetic says:

    I’m not from the area, but saw the article online — my thoughts and prayers and deepest sympathy go out to this man’s friends and family. From all the comments, he seemed like a wonderful person. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  3. Renee says:

    So sad this didn’t end well. My thoughts & prayers are with the family.

  4. The DNR now reporting that Brown, a private investigator, was shot to death.

  5. Renee says:

    This is the only photo I’ve seen of Abid, and it took me a while to find one, even though everyone is supposedly supposed to be on the lookout for him…

  6. Perhaps if the HPD wasn’t involved in what even the FBI has said are “less-than-effective, generally for public relations” DUI checkpoints, then those dozen or so cars could have been patrolling the City and much more likely to have come upon whoever was driving the victim, and his car, off at the Valley Mall.

    Tickets generated from DUI checkpoints cost up to SIX TIMES what a ticket generated from DUI saturation patrols costs…and in studies, officers at DUI checkpoints often miss 50% or more drunk offenders.

    It is generally well-settled that DUI checkpoints not only require planning and buttloads of manpower to legally put into place, but that such checkpoints pale in effectiveness when compared to saturation patrols.

    • Daniel says:

      If I understand it correctly, HPD gets grants (money) to conduct check points. It’s all about the money.

      • Daniel, you’re correct.

        And for those who would like to read more on the issue of the effectiveness of checkpoints v. saturation patrols, I offer the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin from January of 2003:


        Please don’t accuse me, “P. Good” and Jessica C. of being insensitive to Greg’s death and the circumstances surrounding it. I met Greg, a couple of times at GOP functions, and it could very well have been me serving Abid, as opposed to Greg.

        Between this and a incident I was involved in while attempting to serve someone in another jurisdiction, I’m back to carrying full time, now.

  7. P. Good says:

    Dear Mr. Dave,

    “Perhaps if the HPD wasn’t involved in what even the FBI has said are “less-than-effective, generally for public relations” DUI checkpoints, then those dozen or so cars could have been patrolling the City and much more likely to have come upon whoever was driving the victim, and his car, off at the Valley Mall.”


    You sir need to check yourself and your personal, if strange, vendetta against checkpoints. While this is a public forum, maybe you should try to concentrate on the subject at hand, which has nothing to do with DUI checkpoints. You talk without knowing what you speak, and to suggest that a checkpoint could have affected the investigation (finding of the vehicle) borders on the imbecilic, and I’m sure the family of this poor man does not appreciate you or your less than informative word.

    Read the papers, genius…the checkpoints are not set up to only apprehend DUI offenders. And while there may be some minute truth to your figures, you forget to add in the money generated from the other charges, which would hugely offset any figures you’ve quoted.

    In closing, you apparently live in your only little world with your own little conspiracy theories…have fun with that. But in your lunatic ravings, try to be considerate of the more important matters, especially when a family is grieving and depending on the police to give them some satisfaction in their time of need.

    • Actually, “P. Good”, I’ve never been subjected to a checkpoint in my 31 years of driving. I read the paper…the checkpoint wasn’t solely for DUIs and I never wrote that it was, still that doesn’t mitigate anything about the actual cost of charges obtained through checkpoints versus the number and cost of charges obtained through the use of saturation patrols.

      Want more data on saturation patrols, send me an email at briggman@gmail.com.

      Perhaps I’ll FOIA the HPD and we’ll see what charges came as a result of the checkpoint, and the cost of the dozen or so vehicles and tow truck that were sitting on Country Club for much of Saturday evening.

      And my experience was developed having been a police officer for four years…what’s your experience in law enforcement?

      • Ross says:

        Mr. Briggman, What years were you in law enforcement?

        • 83-87…what of it?

          • Ross says:

            Mr. Briggman,
            It would seem your law enforcement history is way out of date. New technology exist that didn’t back then. Maybe a refresher course is due, if you keep referring to your “law enforcement experience”. That’s all. Thank you for the reply.

      • Joseph says:

        you miss the point, it’s not just about the number of charges that come from a checkpoint, but the public imagine and deterrance factor. If one person this weekend says, you know they had a checkpoint last week at X street so I’m not going to drive drunk tonight and that saves a life…then it was successful.

        • I miss the checkpoint, Joseph?

          What is “public imagine”? Is that anything close to public relations, which I mentioned over a day ago in this discussion?

          • Joseph says:

            meaning, a showing that the police are out there and beware if you drive under the influence, or without your permit, or not buckled up or other criminal offenses….a deterance factor.

    • And “a vendetta against checkpoints”?

      Where’d you pull that from? Do tell.

  8. Jessica C says:

    Check points are separate from the regular patrols. They are granted money by the DMV I believe and is for very specific uses. Something that the family already knows because they were in Citizens Police Academy with me a few years ago.

    HPD is full of hard working people who serve and protect us. If anyone has the right to be critical, it’s the Brown family, and they understand how it works. So, please, when you don’t understand the process, go learn about it and then come back and comment. Officers and Investigators are working hard to crack this case. Be respectful.

    Greg was a wonderful and nice man. My thoughts are with his family in this hard time. I am truly in shock about this tragedy and hope that we, the citizens, can help HPD in whatever capacity possible.

    • The Citizen’s Police Academy? Really?

      Nobody’s putting anyone on the HPD down…I merely questioned the usefulness of manpower for a checkpoint when the Department knew that someone we now know was a private investigator/process server was missing.

      I also questioned the effectiveness of checkpoints v. saturation patrols.

      But then you went through the Citizen’s Police Academy, Jessica. Why not a paragraph or two comparing one v. the other?

      • Joseph says:

        you have no idea how much manpower was being used to search for the man….in fact the the handfull of cops operating the checkpoint knew he was missing too…

        you claim to have been in law enforcement but your post seemingly show you might not have been….

        • Except according to the news release, the HPD operated multiple checkpoints last weekend, and I’ve FOIA’d all documents relating to all checkpoints, so I’d imagine I’ll have all of those numbers within just a few days.

          So the dozen cops at a single checkpoint “knew” he was missing? How’s that help you when you’re tasked with a checkpoint and unable to leave?

          I “claim” to have been in law enforcement? Gee, I thought that was already a given…at least on this blog.

      • Jessica C. says:

        It did sound like you were putting HPD down. Sorry if I got that wrong.

        I don’t claim to know everything about checkpoints v. saturation patrols. I just know those officers were doing what they were supposed to be. That was my point.

  9. Just another observation…WHSV is reporting that the alleged shooter left the US on last Thursday…so, assuming he drove the victim’s car to Valley Mall where it was discovered on Sunday morning, how is it that the car sat, undiscovered and “unmolested” by either mall security or the HPD for THREE NIGHTS when relatively few cars would be in that parking lot?

    Once again, the priority would be, to me, using manpower to look for a missing licensed Private Investigator, as opposed to operating DUI checkpoints.

    BTW, there has been not even an acknowledgment of my FOIA request by Mary Hope Vass of the HPD, as of today.

    • Joseph says:

      why do you think the HPD and Sheriff’s Dept can’t run checkpoints and investigate a missing person? do you think they only work on one thing at a time?

  10. Danielle says:

    Dave, I just want you to know that whenever you start commenting on a story, I totally lose interest. Your comments are distracting, off-center and obnoxious.

    • Dave Briggman says:

      Well that’s swell, Danielle. That’s the same reaction I have to people who engage in ad hominem attacks and use pseudonyms or just first names because they generally lack the courage to publicly identify themselves.

      Usually, that’s known as being passive-aggressive.

      • Daniel says:

        I like Dave’s comments. But I know what you mean, Danielle, as I turn off my radio when ever Andy Smookler or Clark Howard comes on. Some people are just weird. Dave is alright, though, even if he thinks I’m passive-aggressive.

        • eso says:

          Andy’s radio show has changed. He use to have a conversation with people a couple of years ago. But he’s been on the “Right wing cabal trying to take over the world(or US)” kick the last couple times I’ve heard his show.

          • Lowell Fulk says:

            Mr. Briggman has the ability to be quite on point and accurate, and he sometimes has the tendency to be quite abrasive. I consider Mr. Briggman to be a valued friend, who sometimes offends people, but who is still my friend. What does Mr. Schmookler have to do with this topic being discussed?

          • Daniel says:

            My point is that Danielle has the same buttons on her computer as I do on my radio. If she does not like what’s being said, or if it just annoys her, she can just turn it off.

    • eso says:

      Dave usually makes good points and arguments based on logic and facts. Which is much more effective than simply saying, “I don’t like your policy, that makes you racist, mean, and a poopie head, so shutup!”

    • Gene Hart says:

      I fear that if we did not have Dave we would have to invent him. A dear friend, even if he does often leave me shaking my head with a bemused grin on my face. Want H’burg? Then ya gotta have Dave.

      • Daniel says:

        I heard Dave roundhouse kicked Hailey’s Comet. Now it returns every 76 years to see if he is still alive, it then leaves in fear.

        I also heard that steroids once tested positive for Dave Briggman.

  11. Emmy says:

    It’s not a real argument until Dave says “ad hominem attacks”.

  12. seth says:

    i agree with dave that it’s hard to believe it took 3 days and a tip to spot a car parked in a lot that would have been pretty close to empty during the nights….

    and i’ll use my last name if he really wants me to, but i think most of ya’ll know who i am.

  13. Dave Briggman says:

    I got my FOIA back from the HPD today…22 officers spent March 4, 2011 working on FOUR different checkpoints around Harrisonburg and created just over 100 charges or less than one charge per man-hour…if people are interested, I can post details, however, one charge per man-hour doesn’t seem like money well spent — even grant money, which in this instance totaled just over $4K.

    • seth says:

      good information, but i’m afraid your efforts here may be equivalent to trying to convince the jokers over at republitarian that in their god’s eye’s, premarital sex is as bad as homosexuality.

  14. Ross says:

    Will this case go unsolved like a handful of other cases that Mrs. Garst is in charge of prosecuting? Is there a way to look up unsolved cases here in Rockingham County?

    • Ross, what’s up with you and Marsha?

      She can only prosecute cases when police make an arrest…if she was pulling suspects out of thin air and prosecuting them, you’d be jumping all over about that.

      • bazrik says:

        Briggman, what’s up with you and the HPD? Following their every move, obsessed with what they’re doing on the weekends… I think you might be in love.

      • Ross says:

        So, when the police make an arrest – who will do the press conference? Marsha or the Chief of Police (or both)? Oops, that should have been Marsha and Curt Boshart. Haven’t seen Col. Harper in like forever.

      • Bubby Hussein, Hillbilly Sheikh says:

        Didn’t HPD’s head criminal investigator recently take a second job trying to get himself elected Sheriff?

  15. Odd…WSVA is reporting that the HPD has given up their traditional St. Patrick’s Day checkpoints for saturation patrols.

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