INDIANAPOLIS — Brookley Chantille Louks was a Christmastime baby, born on Dec. 12, 1982, to Scott and Kim Louks. She has a younger sister, Mista Louks.
Brookley was a stunning young woman, slender and petite with dark brown hair, blue eyes, and a beautiful smile.
But as many teenagers do, Brookley started using drugs and eventually became addicted to methamphetamine.
At 18, sheriff’s deputies arrested Brookley on possession of paraphernalia and possession of marijuana in July 2001. She was released on a $2,000 bond.
Three months later, the police arrested Brookley again and charged her with theft.
Within a few months, Brookley recovered from her addiction and was pursuing a modeling career.
She and her sister briefly resided together in an Indianapolis apartment on the city’s south side, but they had recently moved out. Brookley kept all of her personal belongings at their father’s Yorktown Farms apartment in the 1400 block of Cottonwood in Greenwood. But she often stayed with her best friend and boyfriend; he and Brookley planned to move into a new apartment together in Mooresville.
On Monday, June 24, 2002, Brookley visited her father’s apartment at 4 p.m. to pick up some clothing. She noticed his personal computer was missing and called the Greenwood police.
Police Sgt. Don Harris arrived to take a burglary report around 5:30 p.m. and departed afterward.
Brookley disappeared sometime after speaking with Harris, who was the last known person to see the teen. He said she appeared calm and polite and did not seem troubled.
Brookley was wearing a light-colored blouse, dark shorts, and black, thick-soled open-toe shoes.
She had planned on June 24 to attend a counseling appointment and visit her boyfriend in Martinsville. She consistently contacted the boyfriend to let him know she was on her way, but this time she did not. Brookley had told her mother she was spending the night at a friend’s house, but she never arrived.
A neighbor reported seeing Brookley enter the passenger side of her ice blue four-door 1990 Chevrolet Corsica. An unidentified male was sitting in the driver’s seat.
Kim Louks reported Brookley missing on June 26. Family and friends canvassed the neighborhoods, knocked on doors, and called Brookley’s friends and co-workers, the Indianapolis Star reported. No one they spoke with remembered the teen acting strangely or observing any suspicious behavior around the Louks apartment. Another neighbor said he noticed an unfamiliar truck driving in the area around the time of Brookley’s disappearance.
On July 1, police received an anonymous tip and found Brittany’s vehicle near Ind. 37 and Ind. 144. They searched nearby gravel pits and used a helicopter to scan nearby streams and streamside. There was no sign of the young woman anywhere or any clues to her whereabouts.
According to the Louks, Greenwood PD did not take Brookley’s disappearance seriously. Authorities said there was no indication of foul play and assumed Brookley had left voluntarily. Police also said there was no evidence connecting the stolen computer to her disappearance.
The family became critical of the lax investigation and hired private investigator Donald Campbell, a retired Indy homicide detective. He gave potential evidence collected to the Greenwood PD, but they refused it because he found it in Morgan County. However, they did not hesitate to take over Brookley’s car located in Morgan County.
The Louks family urged Greenwood Mayor Charles Henderson to pressure the police to investigate Brittany’s disappearance.
Kim Louks told the Indianapolis Star in July 2002, “They don’t want anyone knowing anything about this case. They won’t work with out investigator, and when I asked Captain (David) Payne about it, he changed the subject.”
Gosh, one might think they might have been protecting Harris, for whatever reason. 😜
Several factors suggest Brookley did not voluntarily leave.
According to Michele Holtkamp of the Daily Journal, she took no personal belongings with her, but there was “a question about the location of a photo album.”
Brookley had earned only $8 in tips the day of her disappearance, and she had no other means of supporting herself.
She had zero credit & debit cards or bank accounts and did not own a cellphone.
Brookley religiously checked in with family, friends, and her boyfriend, but no one had heard from her.
She left her kitten unattended, and that was uncharacteristic of her.
Brookley’s counselor at Intensive Outpatient Service could not discuss the confidential sessions with her mother. However, he did tell her that her daughter had been doing well and that he would be shocked if she had left independently.
Police later named Joseph Nowicki, 53, as a prime suspect in Brookley’s case. He was a family friend of the Louks family and had known them for about five years.
Nowicki resided in the 4600 block of Old Smith Valley Road and had an extensive criminal history that included murder, rape, and robbery. He knew Brookley because she had regularly assisted him with his horses.
According to the police, a neighbor saw Brookley’s car outside Nowicki’s residence between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. on the day she vanished.
Police had found his fingerprint on the hood of Brookley’s car and subsequently searched his residence in late July 2002. They seized Nowicki’s van and personal computer and numerous guns, even though he could not possess firearms due to his prior convictions. Police arrested him on weapons charges. He claimed the guns belonged to his wife and that he only cleaned them.
Authorities also found blood in his workshop and evidence that someone had attempted to clean up a considerable amount of blood on the floor. Nowicki initially claimed he had injured himself while working on a project and had used a rag to clean up the blood. However, the police tested the blood, and it matched Brookley’s. Nowicki then changed his story, saying Brookley had cut her finger while doing upholstery work for him. Authorities said there was not enough blood to indicate he or someone else had killed her there.
Nowicki’s acquaintance, Melinda Owen, told authorities Nowicki informed her that Brookley was missing during a phone conversation. He asked her to keep the information quiet and told her he had planned to hire a private investigator to find Brookley.
Nowicki’s phone records showed he had placed numerous calls to the Louks family and several others on the night of the disappearance. He was looking for a ride from the area of Ind. 37 & Ind. 144, roughly a mile from where police found Brookley’s car. He also placed a call to Scott Louks on June 25.
According to The Charley Project, “Nowicki reportedly told other witnesses that he and Brookley were involved in an illegal prescription pill transaction in late June 2002. He said that he recognized an individual who accompanied her to their final meeting as an undercover cop (Harris maybe?).” Authorities never confirmed the information.
Kim Louks said Nowicki obsessed over her daughter. He became visibly upset before she disappeared because the teen had not visited him recently. Instead, she had been hanging out with other teenagers.
Police questioned Nowicki in Brookley’s disappearance; he told them he believed she met with an “ill fate.”
WTHR reported that Nowick had ties to another missing person case.
Gene Derringer, 55, who lived in Greenwood, disappeared in 1996, and Nowicki was the last person to see him.
Nowicki and Derringer became more than just acquaintances when working together at Southport High School as maintenance employees. Police found blood evidence in the Derringer house in 1996 and wanted to compare it to blood evidence found in Nowicki’s house during the Louks investigation.Mark Thompson, WTHR
Nowicki pleaded not guilty to the weapons charges. He was released from prison in 2003 and died from cancer on Aug. 29 of that year. He never gave a death-bed confession. Greenwood PD stated the case would likely never officially be solved with Nowicki dead.
Nowicki is not the only person who acted suspiciously after Brookley’s disappearance. So did her father, Scott Louks. He and Nowicki were regular fishing buddies.
Greenwood police believed Louks had withheld helpful information related to Brookley’s disappearance. They never named him as a suspect, however.
Prosecutors gave Louks immunity after he spoke with investigators in July 2002. In no time at all, Louks had retained a lawyer and refused to speak further with investigators about his daughter’s disappearance. In August 2002, prosecutors subpoenaed him to force him to reveal the withheld information. However, his attorney contended the police had demanded details about Louks’ past irrelevant to his daughter’s disappearance.
Shortly after Brookley went missing, Scott moved out of his Yorktown Farms apartment and began drinking alcohol and using drugs. He died of natural causes related to his addiction on November 3, 2002. He was 47.
Mista Louks told WTHR in 2013: “He (Scott) did nothing but cry from the time he got up. He did not want me to leave the house. He was afraid something would happen. I didn’t really understand it at that time.”
Sgt. Eric Klinkowski of the Greenwood Police Department made a strange statement to WTHR at that time.
“I could go the rest of my life not knowing what happened. But the family, they’re missing a loved one.”
Okay, say what? Tell me you don’t give a shit about Brookley without telling me you don’t give a shit about Brookley.
Brookley Louks’ surviving family members believe Nowicki killed her, but he did not act alone.
In 2018, Brookley Louks’ case was featured on the popular and well-known true-crime podcast, “The Vanished,” hosted by Marissa Jones.
Jones interviewed Mista Louks, Brookley’s younger sister. Mista Louks claimed at least 10 people “know bits and pieces that refuse to talk, but there’s no hard evidence against these people to make them talk.”
Brookley Louks has never been found, and her case remains unsolved nearly 19 years after she vanished.
If you have information relevant to the disappearance of Brookley Louks, please call the Greenwood PD at (317) 887-5212
True Crime Diva’s Thoughts
I initially thought Sgt. Harris had something to do with Brookley’s disappearance because it felt like the Greenwood PD protected him. The PD’s actions afterward reeked of a cover-up, and they refused to investigate and receive help from Campbell. Maybe they thought Harris had killed her.
Greenwood PD never performed an extensive search for Brookley because they did not believe she had met with foul play. I hate it was the police automatically assume a missing person left voluntarily, especially when certain factors do not point in that direction, like in this case.
After reading about Scott Louks and his relationship with Nowicki, I think they both killed Brookley and possibly disposed of her in a body of water they had gone fishing in.
Brookley’s car was seen outside Nowicki’s house by a neighbor between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. the night she disappeared. He had asked for a ride close to where police found her vehicle. He had to be involved.
Motive? Well, I think Nowicki was a freak who most likely killed Brookley. Either Scott Louks participated — excuse me while I vomit — or he helped dispose of her body, or both.
Louks’ actions after Brookley disappeared are highly suspicious. Maybe he knew what happened to Brookley because it had to do with him. Retaliation for something, failure to pay drug money, whatever. I have no idea, but I believe he and Nowicki were involved somehow. Unfortunately, they both took that secret to their graves.
If I didn’t believe Louks was involved, I would probably think his death was suspicious.