By Nouran Salahieh, CNN
(CNN) — The search continues for former NFL player Sergio Brown after his mother was found dead with assault injuries near a creek behind her suburban Chicago home, according to the Maywood Police Department.
The body of 73-year-old Myrtle Brown was discovered on Saturday after relatives alerted authorities that they’d been unable to find or contact her or her son, the department said in a news release.
Her death was ruled a homicide, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office. It’s unclear what led up to her death and authorities have not provided any information on a possible suspect in the case.
As the investigation continues, the grieving family has asked for help finding Sergio Brown.
“My brother Sergio is still missing,” Nick Brown wrote on Instagram. “If anyone knows where he is I want him to know that I love you and please come home.”
Sergio Brown, 35, played for Notre Dame before signing with the New England Patriots as an undrafted free agent in 2010. He played seven seasons in the NFL as a member of the Patriots, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars and Buffalo Bills.
Here’s what we know about the death investigation and the search for Sergio Brown:
Mother’s injuries related to an assault, coroner says
Police found Myrtle Brown’s body near a creek behind her home on Saturday, according to the department.
The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office determined she had died from injuries related to an assault, and the manner of death was ruled a homicide, according to spokesperson Natalia Derevyanny.
The coroner’s office did not share details on the nature of the mother’s injuries.
Both mother and son reported missing Saturday
Family members of Sergio Brown and his mother told police on Saturday they had been unable to find or contact either of them, according to Maywood police.
“Maywood Police Officers initiated a missing person report and began making attempts to locate both individuals,” police said in a news release.
Relatives were also out looking for Myrtle, neighbor Carlos Cortez told WBBM.
“Her family came and knocked on the door and was looking for her because they put out a police report because she was missing for 72 hours. So, we tried to help them as much as possible,” Cortez said.
Cortez, who said he provided police with his Ring doorbell footage, said he last saw the Browns on Thursday, WBBM reported.
Family asks for help finding former NFL player
Sergio Brown’s brother on Sunday took to Instagram to ask for help in finding him as he thanked community members for the condolences.
“If you have any information on Sergio’s whereabouts please send them to the Maywood Police Department,” Nick Brown said.
Nick Brown asked people to avoid approaching the family’s property as the investigation continues.
The residential street in Maywood – about 11 miles from the heart of Chicago – could be seen in video cordoned off with police tape as officers responded, video from CNN affiliate WBBM shows.
“People, please don’t approach the property, this is still an ongoing investigation by the Maywood Police Department,” he wrote.
Sheila Simmons, Brown’s aunt, told CNN in a phone interview Tuesday she hopes someone is able to make contact with the ex-NFL player as soon as possible.
“I just know that my sister’s dead and I can’t bring her back,” Simmons said, fighting back tears.
Who was Myrtle Brown?
Neighbors described Myrtle as a sharp dresser, outgoing person and someone who loved to go dancing.
“Just a lovely lady. Very soft-spoken, outgoing. Always on the go,” neighbor Kevin Grayer told CNN affiliate WLS. “Just a happy person. Her personality was just wonderful.”
“She didn’t deserve that. She was too good of a person to die like that. That’s just sad,” Grayer said.
Her son, Nick Brown, said his last conversation with his mother gave him hope.
“It’s a sad but hopeful time, and we will all get through this together. Mom always told me, ‘tough times don’t last’ and our last conversation about tough times being temporary is my beacon of hope,” he said.
“Mom, thank you for being strong, caring, diligent, fancy, funny, and for saving my art. I won’t let you down.”
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CNN’s Jared Formanek, Bill Kirkos and Kevin Dotson contributed to this report.