As far back as his kids can remember, Leonard Brown’s gold teeth shined below his upper lip. “If anything ever happens to me, don’t let them bury me with these in my mouth,” he would tell them. They cost too much, he said, to put in the ground. In December, just before his 80th birthday, Brown developed a persistent cough. His daughter checked him into Methodist Charlton Medical Center. While Brown was inside the intensive care unit, those shiny gold teeth went missing, reports the Dallas Morning News. By then, he was unresponsive and unable to say what happened to them. But his daughter, Carol Pena, told police someone must have pulled them from his mouth.
On Friday, Brown died in the hospital. So now, in addition to investigating what happened to his teeth, Dallas police are looking into Brown’s death. “What we do know is that his teeth are gone,” said Pena’s attorney, Robert Crain. “Nobody knows where they are. There is excessive bruising on his upper left arm and additional bruising on his upper right arm.” Dallas police and Pena’s attorney have spoken with a nurse who offered an explanation about what happened to the teeth. The nurse said he was cleaning Brown’s mouth when his teeth came out. He says he set them on a counter, and they disappeared.