A search party found the remains of a man who disappeared near Coke County, Texas, almost a decade ago, friends and family announced via Facebook.
San Angelo, Texas, native Brandon Lawson, 26, vanished on Aug. 8, 2013, after a fight with his girlfriend, the San Angelo Standard-Times reported.
According to the newspaper, he disappeared near U.S. Highway 277, north of San Angelo. Despite police struggling to find leads pointing to his whereabouts, Lawson’s friends and family did not relent in their nine-year search for him.
They even created a Facebook page called “Help Find Brandon Lawson” to enlist the community’s help in locating the missing man. That search has come to an end, according to the page.
“It is with a heavy heart and great difficulty that we have an important update regarding Brandon’s case. Our family’s long-awaited journey to find answers [draws] near,” Ladessa Lofton — the mother of three of Lawson’s children, stepmother to his eldest daughter, and his girlfriend of 10 years — wrote in a Feb. 4 post.
“For years, we have gone to great lengths to search the area of Brandon’s last known whereabouts. Many searches have been conducted in various ways to locate any potential clues. We have had a circle of supporters assisting us in locating Brandon throughout this process,” Lofton said.
“Recently, one of those advocates led a small search party in the vicinity of Brandon’s last known location. The search team came upon some clothing that [was] consistent with Brandon’s clothing. Authorities in local law enforcement were contacted and were able to take the evidence in for testing.
“The Texas Rangers conducted a search that ultimately led them to discover human remains in this same area. Although DNA tests are needed to confirm identification, it [is] in our hearts that we know that it is Brandon,” Lofton wrote.
Tom Green County Sheriff Nick Hanna confirmed to the Standard-Times that law enforcement did find human remains in the area. As a Texas Ranger in 2013, Hanna was the lead investigator in the disappearance case, according to the outlet.
Before his disappearance, Lawson had arrived at his house after not coming home the night before, angering Lofton, who was worried about Lawson’s recent drug relapse. The two had a tense exchange that resulted in Lawson leaving the house.
“For a long time, I blamed myself,” Lofton told the Standard-Times. “I will never get those words back.”
At about 11:30 p.m. that night, Lawson phoned his father and told him he was going to his parents’ home in Crowley, the outlet reported. An hour later, he called his brother Kyle, requesting help because his vehicle had run out of fuel.
“Three [expletives] are chasing me out of town,” Brandon told Kyle, saying it was “the Mexicans in the neighborhood.” Kyle asked if he was hallucinating due to drug use, but Brandon denied it. Kyle went to grab a can of gas at Brandon’s and Lofton’s home.
During that time, the brothers kept calling each other but never had a complete conversation, the Standard-Times reported. At one point, Brandon said he was bleeding and running through a field.
At around 12:50 a.m., Brandon called 911 saying he had run out of gas and needed help, and asked authorities to “please hurry.” Then, at 1 a.m., a Coke County deputy unaware of the 911 call spotted Brandon’s pickup truck blocking traffic. Kyle arrived at the scene at the same time.
“I can see you. I’m right here,” Brandon told Kyle over the phone, but Kyle could not see him. According to the Standard-Times, there was an active warrant against Brandon for possession with intent to deliver, so Kyle assumed his brother was hiding from the police.
Kyle waited for 30 to 45 minutes after the officer left to see if Brandon would emerge. When he didn’t, Kyle left the gas can in Brandon’s truck and returned to San Angelo. At 5 a.m., Kyle came back and phoned his brother but never got a response.
Authorities then launched a search to locate Brandon. The search went on for years and there were many theories surrounding his disappearance, but authorities never found answers.
“All along I’ve stated the fact that I would like to find Brandon and bring him home where he belongs,” Brandon’s father said in 2018, according to the Standard-Times.
“The chances of us finding Brandon alive are almost none, and I understand that and I realize that. But he’s not here. … [He deserves] to be brought home to his family.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.