November 7, 2022 | by Graecyn Barron
This story is part of a collaborative project between Project: Cold Case and a University of North Florida Journalism class.
Timothy Brown was a family man. Grandma’s house was the place to be, and Uncle Tim was the life of the party. He was always helpful with his three children, nieces and nephews whenever things were awry. “Uncle Tim was going to call if you ever did something bad,” said, Eleshia Oldham, his oldest daughter.
18 years ago on Christmas Eve, Timothy Brown never came home. He was shot in a friend’s home after going out on the town for the night. His murderer has never been found. Timothy went out with a friend to the Voo Swar Restaurant and Lounge in the Atlantic Beach area. The Voo Swar is a small restaurant that opened in 1971. He went to his friend’s place of residence to rest after the night out. The house was small with only two windows, and the front door could be seen from the front of the house. According to reports and Eleshia’s recounting, shots were fired after an altercation with someone at the door and the shots were heard for miles.
Timothy was only 38 years old. Eleshia said that most of the story she has heard is hearsay from family and friends.
Timothy Brown was a short man, but everyone knew when he entered the room. He was around 5 feet 6 inches tall and had big eyes. When he was younger, he had short hair and began growing it out into dreadlocks before he died.
“He had a real beautiful smile with one gold tooth to the side,” Eleshia said.
As a child, Timothy was known to his friends as ‘Dad.’ He was a shoulder to lean on and always helped his friends. This continued as he grew up; he was always providing aid to his nieces and nephews.
The movie theatre was one of Timothy’s favorite places to be. Timothy and Eleshia’s mother were not together, so the first place Eleshia met her father was at the movie theatre. She was always told she was a crybaby, “As soon as my mother put me in his arms, I stopped crying,” Eleshia said.
Timothy was supportive of his daughter in everything she did. When she was younger, Eleshia played basketball for Fletcher Middle School. Eleshia recounted an early memory of one of her first games, Eleshia wanted to show off to her dad how much she had learned and enjoyed basketball. Eleshia accidentally scored for the wrong team. “I ran to the wrong goal and gave them the point,” Eleshia said with a laugh. Her dad cheered anyway.
Timothy Brown was a working man, doing any job he could to provide for his family. He was known to do all sorts of jobs, including becoming a roofer and a milkman. He was a go-getter and worked at BMW. “He did a little bit of everything,” Eleshia said. His family was the number one passion for Timothy, and he was always looking to help and provide for his children and extended family. He was passionate and disciplined, keeping all the kids in line and out of trouble. “He was a very loving individual,” Eleshia said with a smile. “The financial part wasn’t the most important thing to him.”
Timothy was a good man throughout his life, doing everything he could to take care of the people who mattered most, including his three children and the rest of his family. He left behind a fiancé, three children, and the rest of his extended family.
Eleshia Oldham is still affected by her father’s murder today. She said she rarely goes to Atlantic Beach for fear that the person who killed Timothy is still there. Eleshia said that her father’s death did teach her one thing. “It hurts, but I’ve got to pick it up and I’ve got to keep going,” Eleshia said. The murder inspired her to represent his ideals and be a responsible person. She wants people to remember that Timothy was a good man even with his flaws.
“Nobody’s perfect,” Eleshia said. “No matter their lifestyle, they deserve their story to be told.”
Anyone with information that could help police in their investigation is urged to contact the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office at 904-630-0500 or email JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org. To remain anonymous and receive a possible reward up to $3,000, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS or dial **TIPS (star star 8477) on your cell phone.
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