Brandon Lawson was a 26 years old young man at the time of missing on August 9, 2013.
He had been with his fiancée, Ladessa Lofton, for the last ten years and the couple had three children. Brandon also had a child from an early relationship. By all means, Brandon was a caring and attentive father.
It’s a difficult case for many reasons. Not only was Brandon Lawson in contact with his brother, Kyle, minutes before he disappeared, but they were also in the same area, perhaps some yards distant.
What Happened Before His Disappearance?
Brandon had a conflict with his long-term girlfriend, Ladessa, and left their home. His truck went out of gas and he asked for the help of his brother to bring a gas can. When Kyle reached there, Brandon was not in his vehicle. They talked on the phone and a police officer pulled up behind Brandon’s truck. Brandon said to Kyle, “One time, run!” According to Kyle, this means “law enforcement, run.” Brandon was close enough to see what was happening at his truck, but no one in the picture was ever observed by him.
When Kyle denied running from the cop, Brandon hung up on him. This information makes the case even more complicated because Brandon called 911 before Kyle’s arrival.
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Other Necessary Information
Brandon Lawson had an outstanding warrant. Kyle thought this to be the cause that Brandon was disappearing from the officer at the scene. He did not know that Brandon had called 911 and did not understand how serious the circumstances were at that time. When Brandon told Kyle he was bleeding, Kyle thought he had fallen or run into a cactus. Brandon never informed him of an attack or anyone else present that night.
Brandon had been undergoing paranoia that day. He told Kyle that Ladessa “had people from their neighborhood after him.” Ladessa does not know why Brandon told that and Kyle is adamant that Brandon was simply being paranoid.
Law enforcement initially doubted that Kyle was involved, either by helping Brandon run away or due to foul play. Kyle agreed to take a polygraph. He has been administered two and passed.
The area where Brandon disappeared has been searched many times, both on foot and from a Bird’s Eye view. Thermal imaging cameras, plane searches, and cadaver dogs were all used in the days after. A PI hired by the Lawsons also searched via helicopter.
The area in the area where Brandon disappeared is very uneven. It’s recognized to be occupied by wild hogs and rattlesnakes. This is Brandon’s last known location. He was right next to the Colorado River which was experiencing severe droughts at that time. The river was said to be knee-deep at its highest. Some listeners of the 911 call accept they can hear gunshots in the background; Kyle says that is the sound of cars driving on the bridge over the Colorado River.
According to this San Angelo news article, Brandon withdraws from his 401K before his disappearance. This is approved by Ladessa in the article, though she is unaware whether he got the money. His last paycheck was directly deposited on the night he went missing and Brandon never withdrew that money.
None of Brandon’s things, such as his phone, keys, or wallet, have ever been recovered. After helicopter hunts, the Coke County Sheriff says that there was no sign of a struggle. One place underneath a tree seemed to have indentation impressions. The sheriff said this may be where Brandon bent to watch Kyle and the officer at his truck.
Since the call of Brandon to 911 was of such bad quality, it is challenging to figure out what he was saying and what, if anything, was happening to him in those moments. Yet, the theories of what happened to him depend largely on that call because, frankly, that’s all we have to go on.
The theory that Brandon was murdered is backed by the following facts:
- Brandon told in the 911 call that he was not alone. He “pushed some guys over” on “both sides.” This implies that he was in the presence of more than one person. He goes on to say that one person was following him, and another one was doing something in the department moving towards it, perhaps. We may never know.
- Based on the 911 call, Brandon “ran into” these people, though it’s not obvious exactly what that suggests. Some have recommended he physically ran into another vehicle or hit an actual person, but there was nothing seen at the scene to suggest either scenario had happened.
- He asked for the help of the police.
- He told me he was bleeding.
- He mentioned to his brother, Kyle, that “the Mexicans in the neighborhood” were after him. However, no one knew who he was pointing to, and his truck broke down in an isolated area, not a neighborhood.
- During an interview with Kyle on the Crawlspace podcast, Kyle said Brandon informed him that Ladessa got the aforementioned “Mexicans from the neighborhood” to follow him out of town. Two were still chasing him, but a third one had been pulled over by a state trooper.
- A second voice may have been recorded on the 911 call.
2. He Ran Away
Brandon had some important reasons to run away.
- First, there was his crime warrant, which gave a sentence of two to 20 years in prison. However, he was out on bond, so he was likely looking at more punishment, time served, or a very short sentence.
- But if he was back on drugs and tested positive for a substance, that could have hindered his chances of merely extending his probation and may have placed him behind bars.
- So, is it possible that Brandon pretended his own death/abduction to avoid his legal problems?
- Brandon’s family has said, however, that Brandon had already done time in state prison and was not afraid of having to go back.
- Since there have been no clues that Brandon Lawson started a new life, the logical end, if you think he was on the run is that he disappeared somewhere and died there.
- Brandon’s brother, Kyle, has stated on numerous podcasts that his brother was a user of meth who was high at the time of his disappearance.
- According to Kyle, Brandon’s argument with Ladessa was about drugs. It shows that Brandon had tried to score some meth earlier in the day and was trying to reveal his brother into helping him get some. Kyle also mentioned that Brandon had done meth on the night of his disappearance.
- When Kyle was asked to Brandon and Ladessa’s home after the couple argued, Ladessa informed him that Brandon was “flipping out” and “tripping.”
- In his nervous, paranoid state, it’s possible that Brandon wandered off somewhere to “hide” and submitted to the elements or to a drug overdose. He could have fallen in the water and drowned for all we know.
- Or, Brandon was involved in a drug deal gone bad while he was high. But again, where is the proof of a crime and where is his body?
In the more than seven years since Brandon Lawson went lost, family and friends have never stopped searching for the young man who had so much promise, yet was in the cruel grip of drugs. Still, much has changed over the years. Most notably, Ladessa Lofton got married in May 2019.
Brandon was on drugs the night he disappeared. He was hallucinating and paranoid. He walked off somewhere and either succumbed to the elements, drowned, or was fatally wounded.