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Neighbors React to Friday’s Double Homicide in Des Moines

DES MOINES, Iowa -- When Robert and Kathleen Brown were coming home from dinner Friday evening to the 3900 block of East 26th St., they never expected to be greeted by several sets of flashing lights.

“I said, ‘oh my goodness, look, there's police cars there.’ I said, ‘something [bad] has happened,’” said Kathleen Brown.

She was right. Police say directly across the street, 30-year-old Joshua Lee Adams murdered his mother, Tracy, and his uncle, Gaylord Jolly, Jr.

“I thought, oh my gosh, and I've seen the son out pacing back-and-forth smoking cigarettes in the summer and stuff. I always felt there was something wrong with him,” said Kathleen Brown.

In 2012, Adams pleaded guilty to a charge of assault with the use or display of a weapon and received two years of probation. Robert Brown says Adams never acknowledged him when he would say hello, and the family mostly stayed to themselves.

“He never paid any attention to me. When they first moved in over there, I did talk to the man. We introduced ourselves but other than that never talked to them again,” said Robert Brown.

The Browns say they were up until 2 a.m. playing cards to try to get their mind off what happened. They say it was difficult because they kept thinking of their granddaughter.

“My granddaughter plays with a girl right nextdoor, and they're back-and-forth all summer long. It kinda scared me for my granddaughter’s safety, and the guy, sometimes he'd be out,” said Kathleen Brown.

With Adams being held on a $2 million cash bond, the Browns say they'll try to get back to normal, but it will take a while.

“It's too close to home,” said Kathleen Brown.

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