Brian BurnsBrian M. Burns (Courtesy KWWL)

Brian M. Burns

Missing Person

Name: Brian M. Burns
Age at Report:
240 lbs.
Incident Type:
Disability — physical/mental
Missing From:
1381 180th St.
Manchester, Iowa
Delaware County
NamUs MP Number:
Missing Since:
December 19, 2013

Friends remember Manchester man in cold case after discovery of remains

Almost 10 years ago Brian “Farmer” Burns was reported missing at the age of 55. (Courtesy

Officials Believe Remains are those of Brian Burns

Nov. 22, 2023, from — On November 5th, 2023, the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office responded one mile south of the 1300 block of 180th Street for a report that human remains had been located in a field just west of Manchester by some pheasant hunters.

The remains were removed from the scene and taken to the Iowa State Medical Examiner’s Office for positive identification. Officials have still not positively identified the remains, but believe they are those of Brian Burns who was reported missing back on December 23rd, 2013.

Brian Burns was the cousin of Jerry Burns, who was convicted of killing Michelle Martinko. At the time Jerry Burns was arrested in 2018 for the murder of Martinko, TV9 asked the Delaware County Sheriff’s office if Jerry Burns was connected to Brian Burns’ disappearance. At the time, Delaware County Sheriff John LeClere said in a statement, “We are reviewing the case and at this time have not uncovered any additional information that would implicate Jerry Burns in that disappearance.”

Late Wednesday, Nov. 22, deputies said the remains have not yet been positively identified, but they’re believed to be those of Burns.

TV9 went to the Hart Ridge Golf Course Wednesday evening, where most everyone in the bar there still knew Burns as “Farmer.”

They said, not only was Hart Ridge where Farmer was a greenskeeper, but it was where he hung out, shared his stories, and joked with friends. Full Story at

The incident remains under investigation. Anyone with information regarding Brian Burns is asked to contact the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office at 563-927-3135.

Case Summary

Fifty-five-year-old Brian “Farmer” Burns was reported missing to the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office in Manchester, Iowa, on Friday, Dec. 20, 2013, and the sheriff’s office is asking for the public’s help in locating him.

Authorities said Burns was last seen at his 1381 180th St. residence in Delaware County on Thursday, December 19, 2013.

Burns is a 6-foot-tall white male with green eyes, short gray and balding hair, and weighs about 240 pounds.

Delaware County in Iowa
Delaware County in Iowa
Manchester in Delaware CountyManchester in Delaware County

According to the Iowa Department of Public Safety’s Missing Person Information Clearinghouse, Burns is considered physically or mentally disabled.

At the time of his disappearance, officials said he may be wearing a brown coat, flannel shirt, blue jeans, a baseball cap and hiking boots.

Burns didn’t own a vehicle, possess a driver’s license or have a cell phone, which investigators said made it difficult to track his whereabouts.

On Saturday morning, Dec. 28, 2013, friends, family, law enforcement and volunteers came together to search for Burns, KWWL reported that same day.

Burns’ nephew, Levon Smith, said it wasn’t like Burns to disappear during the holiday season.

“Holidays he is always home,” Smith told Channel 7 News. “He knows that when family comes home, he comes home. It’s just not something you see.”

Smith joined Saturday’s search party, and authorities said they hoped a fresh set of eyes might help identify something they hadn’t previously caught.

Chris Willey, president of the Snow Pioneers Snowmobile Club, said about 15 club members rode snowmobiles near and around Burns’ home and place of work in search of any clues to Burns’ whereabouts.

“We work with emergency management,” Willey said. “Whenever there is a need like this the club has a group that comes out and helps do the search and rescue.”

Mike Ryan of the Delaware County Emergency Management group called Burns’ disappearance unique in nature because Burns didn’t have a license or vehicle or cell phone or do a lot of banking.

“We don’t have the usual tracking methods that we would have under normal circumstances,” Ryan told KWWL. “We are conducting a lot of interviews and discussing [Burns’ disappearance] with friends and family. We are just trying to develop a direction as to where to go, where to look and what possibly could have happened to him,” Ryan said.

Burns allegedly told his brother December 19 that he was getting a ride from someone, but authorities said they weren’t certain if the ride ever arrived.

“We don’t know if that is actual or if that is a fact,” Ryan said about his uncle’s reference to a ride. “It may have been something he just said to his brother. We are not sure.”

According to KWWL, Saturday’s limited search party concentrated around two specific areas: the Burns residence and the Hart Ridge Golf Course, where Burns worked.

Most people around town would recognize Burns from the golf course, his nephew said, because Burns spent a great deal of time there.

“He’s the life of Hart Ridge,” Smith told KWWL Saturday morning before the search began.

Smith said the family hoped the search would provide answers to questions of how and why Burns went missing.

“We are at the end of our wits with this one. We don’t [have] any explanations. We have no clues or nothing as to why,” Smith said of his uncle’s mysterious disappearance.

The search produced no answers, and Burns’ whereabouts remain unknown.

Information Needed

If you have any knowledge about Brian Burns’ unsolved disappearance or any information that might lead to his whereabouts, please call the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office at (563) 927-3135.



30 Responses to Brian Burns

  1. Kim says:

    Adding KCRG’s story to the recent update that Brian Burns’ remains may have been found in Delaware County.

  2. Scot Korte Kimberly Korte says:

    Remains found Nov 5, 2023; info released to news outlets today (Wed Nov 22, 2023). No official confirmation yet but evidence points to this being him.

  3. Missing Person cases with Nikki says:

    I’m definitely going to cover this on my youtube channel hope he comes home or gets justice

  4. Karen says:

    Article said mental and physical disabilities. Specifically what were his disabilities. Would he have been capable of planning his own disappearance?

  5. Robin Henderson says:

    Hopefully Jerry will get at least life without parole and he will decide he has nothing more to lose and spill his guts to someone!

  6. Margaret says:

    Shortly after Brian disappeared Jerry poured a new concrete slab on his farm. Hmm… coincidence…? Now that we know the truth about Jerry I sure hope they look there.

  7. Yuma's Missing AZ says:

    Let’s all post Brian’s missing persons flyer in all Missing persons groups to bring awareness to his demise..I’m shocked he didnt have I had one made

    • Penelope S Lillie says:

      Briand Burns is missing Jerry burns in not let’s keep moving forward to find Brian M.Burns..dint ket Jerry Burns oblvershadow Brian this isnt right imo

  8. Lisa says:

    I’d like to know if Brian’s cousin, Jerry Burns, ever participated in the searches for Brian. What was his demeanor after Brian’s disappearance (on the anniversary of Michelle Martinko’s murder) and three days after an anonymous tip the authorities deemed as “credible.”)

  9. Stay Strong, Keep Fighting For Justice! says:

    Unbelievable – this guy is now connected to 3 very suspect deaths / disappearances.

    It’s extremely unfortunate this total waste of skin was able to be free for nearly 40 years.

    The good news is that he’s toast, no way he ever will be a free man again. And better yet, he will spend eternity in the deep recesses of hell.

  10. Jane Hawley says:

    Interesting. Probably killed him and his wife! Hope police are looking into this.

  11. Patrick Kerrigan says:

    Very interesting that his first cousin was arrested for murdering Michelle. But Angela comments could mean he left on his on. But then maybe he blackmailed his cousin, and that’s where the pile of money came from.

  12. eapennington says:

    Disappeared three days after the anonymous tip to police in Michelle Martinko’s case. I very much hope police are looking into this connection. It appears that the killer was Brian’s first cousin.

  13. Aaron says:

    I’m curiously wondering if this guy was losing his faculties; so went his pledge to remain mum on Jerry’s vile scheme to keep this a secret. Every year they ran this story, and maybe this guy could simply no longer keep it quiet.

  14. Laura says:

    Related to Jerry Burns who was just arrested for a murder in 1975 today?

  15. Yoda says:

    Who stood to gain?

  16. angela says:

    I worked out at the golf course back in 2012 and served farmer alot. I don’t know if this helps but he told me that one day he’ll just be gone and no one will know where he’ll be and he’ll be in Las Vegas sit high on cash. No one will look for me there… I hope he’s found safe.

  17. Diana Wilson says:

    I pray he’s still alive and well. We have a case similar in Woodbury county.

  18. Timothy Wood says:

    so sad, hope they find something that help with closure.

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