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Girl, 3, Vanished in 1984 After House Fire Killed Her Siblings. Here's Why Her Family Thinks She's Still Alive

In a push to solve the mystery, NCMEC released a new age-progressed image of Ramona Brown on March 6

<p>National Center for Missing and Endangered Children</p> Ramona Brown as a child (left) and an age-progressed photo of Brown at 43.

National Center for Missing and Endangered Children

Ramona Brown as a child (left) and an age-progressed photo of Brown at 43.

In 1984, 3-year-old Ramona Brown vanished after a house fire killed two of her siblings and destroyed her family’s home in New Orleans, La. Now, 40 years later, her family believes she’s still alive.

On March 5, 1984, Ramona, her nine siblings, and her parents went to bed excited about the upcoming Mardi Gras festivities. But at around 3 a.m., they woke up to a fire tearing through their family home. Kevin, 2, and Aubrey Jr., 4, died in the blaze. Initially, it was assumed that Ramona died inside the house as well, but her remains were never discovered in the rubble by first responders, according to a statement shared by the National Center for Missing and Endangered Children.

Now, four decades later, Ramona’s family thinks she’s still alive and believe she was kidnapped that night. According to NCMEC, Ramona's sister, Tiffany Nickerson, said her then-6-year-old sister Simona told their parents that Ramona had made it out of the house before the fire and left with an older couple who offered to help.

<p>National Center for Missing and Endangered Children</p> The Brown family outside their New Orleans home.

National Center for Missing and Endangered Children

The Brown family outside their New Orleans home.

“I remember Simona telling my mom and dad that there was a couple, a biracial couple that stopped and picked up Ramona," Tiffany told NCMEC. "After that, Simona went into a shell. She wouldn't talk for a few years.”

Over the years, Ramona's grandmother also received what the family called "strange phone calls" with no one speaking on the other line, according to NCMEC. They believe Ramona could've been on the other line of those calls.

It wasn’t until 2018 that a 42-year-old Simona reached out to New Orleans police and share what she remembered about that night, including the car and description of the couple who were last seen with her sister.

In a push to solve the mystery, NCMEC released a new age-progressed image of Ramona on March 6. She would be 43 today and her family says she has a unique birthmark.

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New Orleans Police Detective Lamar Lewis, who has handled the cold case since 2018, told NCMEC he hopes to one day give the family some answers.

"I am not a superhero or anything, but I am determined to figure this one out," Lewis said.

Anyone with information on the Ramona Brown case is asked to call NCMEC at 1-800-843-5678.

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