BROOKFIELD – While there are so many unknowns in the one-year-old missing person case of Brittany Tee, her family and friends are certain of one thing: she would never have left them for this long.
At a candlelight vigil on the Brookfield Common Wednesday (Jan. 10, 2024), members of the community, friends and family of Tee gathered to pray for her safe return. Investigators have said Tee walked out of her boyfriend’s apartment near Lewis Field at about 8:30 p.m. on Jan. 10, 2023. It was the last time anyone is believed to have seen her.
Her older sister, Bethany Tee, said Wednesday that Brittany’s boyfriend thought she’d gone to her mother’s in Spencer after calling her mom upset over something she didn’t want to talk about. But Susan Tee hadn’t picked up her daughter and Brittany had not showed up at her home.
After looking for her without success, Brittany’s family reported her missing.
That sparked intense searches on the ground and in the water, State troopers were seen walking through fields, beating back brush and looking in outbuildings for the 35-year-old. They used trained dogs and flew over in helicopters. They set up a tip line and followed leads.
One year later, there’s been no trace of Brittany.
Her older sister, Bethany Tee, recalled Bethany’s kind heart and infectious laugh.
She told of their car rides, music blasting as the siblings sang at “the top of our lungs, chasing sunsets and taking pictures of the beautiful scenery.” The memory retold through Bethany’s anguished voice.
Susan and Bethany were honest with police and Bethany said they did not withhold details about Brittany’s two-year struggle with alcohol.
“(It was) the one thing my sister was so embarrassed and distraught about,” Bethany said, adding that she didn’t want people to use that to form an incorrect opinion about her sister.
Those who really knew her would recall her how “she always wants to be the helper,” and how she quoted movie lines and sang special lyrics to songs, Bethany said of her sister.
Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr., said his detectives and other agencies haven’t stopped looking for Brittany. “We’re not gonna stop. We’re not gonna stop,” he said. “We keep taking tips, we keep doing searches whether it be underwater … on the ground. We just… we wish we had answers tonight.”
Recording artist Sam James said Brittany often followed him at clubs in the early days of his career. He urged those at the vigil to “keep searching and keep thinking about her.”
James sang two of Brittany’s favorite songs, both by Tom Petty: Wildflowers and Walls (Circus).
The latter, with haunting lyrics, echoed Bethany’s promise to bring her sister home, “Sundowns are golden, then fade away, but if I never do nothing, I’ll get you back some day.”