Every few months, Coke County’s six-person sheriff’s office receives a call from someone seeking information about Brandon Lawson. Every few months, they tell someone the case is dead.
“We don’t have any leads,” Chief Deputy Brandon Neal explains. “We have nothing, nothing.”
On Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013, Lawson, then 26, briefly returned to his San Angelo home after not coming home the previous night. Ladessa Lofton, Lawson’s girlfriend of 10 years, mother of their three children and step-mom to Lawson’s eldest daughter, was infuriated by his absence because of his recent drug relapse. The two fought and he left. Lawson never returned.
His last known location was along U.S. Highway 277, north of San Angelo and right before the West Texas town of Bronte, population not-quite 1,000. A desolate two-lane highway, Deputy Neal said a person could probably lie down in the middle of the road and not worry about being run over. A red-and-white metal cross, standing about 3 feet tall, marks the spot where Brandon’s pickup rolled to a stop that night. Even if you’re looking for it, you might miss it among the overgrown brush and cactus that line the terrain.
Some people think Lawson — because of an outstanding warrant or his rocky relationship with Lofton — purposely disappeared and is living a new life, undetected.
Some think Lawson — because of a 911 call he made that night and the fact neither his remains nor possessions have been found — was hurt by someone.
And some think Lawson — because of his drug use and the rough terrain in the area — died from the elements out there in the scrub, and search attempts just haven’t found him. The night of Brandon Lawson's disappearance
According to a phone call he had with his father around 11:30 that night, Brandon was headed to his parents' house in Crowley, about three hours away. It was just past 12:30 a.m. when he called his brother, Kyle Lawson, who also lived in San Angelo, asking for help because he ran out of gas.
“'Three (explitives) are chasing me out of town,'” Brandon told his brother. When Brandon said it was “the Mexicans in the neighborhood,” Kyle asked if he was tripping, if it was drugs causing him to hallucinate — but Brandon denied it was all in his head. Kyle went over to Brandon and Lofton’s house — less than a mile away — to get a gas can, then headed out of town with his wife-at-the-time and 4-year-old son. The brothers kept making calls to one another, but Kyle said Brandon wouldn’t have a full conversation with him, more or less saying a sentence or two before hanging up. At one point Brandon said he was running through a field and was bleeding — which Kyle took as him tripping over some rocks or another minor accident of the sort. At 12:50 a.m. Brandon called 911, which at the time rang at the local nursing home in Robert Lee. The call is hard to understand, but many have said Brandon sounded distressed.
Among a series of unclear statements, he told the dispatcher he ran out of gas, was in the middle of a field, that he needed help and asked, “please hurry.”
When the dispatcher asked if Brandon needed an ambulance, he said “No, I need the cops.”
Spotty cellphone service kept several calls to and from Brandon Lawson from connecting. Here's a look at those phone records: 12:51: Kyle called Brandon and left a voicemail.
12:51: Brandon called Lofton, but she didn’t answer. After their fight, and lacking a wall charger, Lofton had taken her phone to her car to charge.
12:52: Kyle’s wife called Brandon, then called again.
12:54: Kyle called Brandon.
12:57: Brandon called his neighbor.
12:58: Brandon called Kyle, and called again.
12:58: The neighbor called three times.
12:59: Kyle called Brandon.
1:04: The dispatcher at the nursing facility called Brandon back, trying to get more information about his location and what was wrong. She left a voicemail and called once more.
1:09: Brandon called Kyle three times.
1:12: Kyle called Brandon three times.
1:15: Brandon called Kyle twice, the last calls he made from his phone.
1:19: All calls made to his phone begin going straight to voicemail.
Deputy Neal arrived at Brandon’s pickup just after 1 a.m., after dispatch received a 911 call from a trucker along U.S. 277 that reported Brandon’s F-150 obstructing traffic by being over the white line.
The last gas station before Bronte is in San Angelo, a distance of about 30 miles between one another, so Neal had responded to plenty of calls of people running out of gas. When he arrived at Brandon’s pickup, Brandon wasn’t there, but Kyle was just pulling up. “I can see you, I’m right here,” Kyle said Brandon told him, although he couldn’t see his brother anywhere.
With an active warrant out of Johnson County for possession with intent to deliver, Kyle assumed Brandon was hiding to avoid getting in trouble with the police. At that time, neither Neal nor Kyle knew about the 911 call Brandon had made.
Kyle told Neal the pickup belonged to Brandon and that he was walking along the road, but his phone kept losing reception — purposely leaving out the fact Brandon said he was close by.
“At the time, I didn’t feel like he was in any danger,” Kyle said.
After Kyle and Neal finished talking, Kyle decided to drive away and park up the road a bit to see if his brother would come out once the deputy left. “I sat there for a good 30 to 45 minutes,” Kyle said. He eventually left because his son was hungry and crying.
He wasn’t able to put gas in the can because his check hadn’t hit his bank account yet, so he left it in the bed of the pickup, thinking Brandon would be able to walk to the gas station.
“I go back to San Angelo, I get food for my kid and stuff. I figure OK, he’s just out there, he’s hiding because of the police, he’s going to be out there whenever I go back, when I take the gas, maybe the police officer will be gone by then,” Kyle said.
When he did get back to the pickup about 5 a.m., Brandon wasn't anywhere to be found.
“I hollered and screamed my brother’s name and he never came out.”
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Re: Brandon Lawson
yt link is too short so not working
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Re: Brandon Lawson
Hope this works! Here’s the 911 call Brandon placed
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