The mystery of how a young woman died in her sleep, a mystery that haunts scientists and has baffled doctors for years, is finally being solved.
The body of 26-year-old Danielle Brown was found at a remote location in Oregon on Dec. 17, 2018.
Brown was last seen alive in the parking lot of a Portland restaurant on Jan. 3, 2019.
Her family and friends say she was a quiet girl with no family, no friends and no plans to return to school.
Her disappearance has captivated a wide community of researchers and mystified doctors.
After her body was discovered, authorities began investigating Brown’s death and the medical examiner’s office began an autopsy.
According to authorities, Brown died of asphyxiation after a fall while she was in a stroller at a Portland motel on Dec 24, 2018 and was found with a single skull fracture and an extensive blood clot at the scene.
She was last in contact with her parents on Jan 2, 2019, and had not yet told her family that she was ill, authorities said.
A search for clues led authorities to the site where Brown’s body was found, which is approximately 70 miles northwest of Eugene, Oregon.
Investigators determined the body belonged to a male who had died of acute traumatic encephalopathy, or APE, a form of brain damage that has been associated with APE since the 1970s.
“APE is a brain disease that can be caused by a variety of causes,” said Dr. Michael Breen, an assistant professor at the University of California-San Francisco and an APE expert.
He added that Brown’s symptoms could have been linked to APE but would be difficult to confirm without an autopsy, which he said is the only way to confirm APE.
Breen said Brown was a “highly unusual” case because she was missing for weeks and had been missing for days before she was discovered.
Brown’s family and the Eugene Police Department are trying to piece together what happened to her before she went missing.
Family members have been trying to track Brown down for nearly a year, but her family says they have yet to find her.
“We don’t know what happened,” said the mother of Brown, Rachel Brown.
“We’re trying to get the truth out, and we’re still trying to find the truth.”