On the night of August 8, 2013, 26 year old Brandon Lawson left his house in San Angelo, Texas (about 250 miles south of Dallas) at approximately 11:55pm. His last known location was along US Highway 277, north of San Angelo. That night, Brandon had gotten into an argument with his longtime girlfriend, Ladessa Lofton. The two met when Brandon was in junior high and Ladessa was a sophomore. When they met, Brandon asked her for her phone number & soon, the two were inseparable. They went on to have three children together & had four in total since Brandon had one child from a previous relationship. At the time of Brandon’s disappearance, the couple had been together for ten years.
Brandon was born on November 18, 1986 in Fort Worth, TX to Bradley & Kimberly Lawson. Brandon grew up in a big family & seemed to have a happy childhood. You could often find him outdoors with his brothers Kyle & Billy & his sister Brittney. Brandon loved fishing & camping & looked forward to getting his own pickup truck.
Before the night of August 8, 2013 when Brandon went missing, he had been under a lot of stress. He was working 60 hours a week in the oil fields & busy at home, raising a newborn son. To ease the stress, Brandon turned to methamphetamine. Only a couple of days before his disappearance, he had called his brother Kyle, asking if he knew where to find the drug, saying he was starting a new job & his drug test was done & clear . Sadly, Brandon had been in recovery from his drug addiction & was clean for about six months before he relapsed. His brother told him not to start using again but Brandon said he would only do a little.
On the night of Wednesday, August 7, 2013, Brandon didn’t come home after work. When he finally showed up on August 8, Ladessa was angry that not only had he not come home but he had started using drugs again. The two got into an argument so Brandon left the house just before midnight to cool off. The next two hours would be documented via his cell phone. Brandon called his dad at 11:54pm & planned to head to his parent’s house in Crowley, near Fort Worth. According to Google Maps, the drive would have taken 3 hours and 40 minutes.
At midnight, Ladessa called Brandon, asking him to just go to his brother Kyle’s house less than a mile away instead of making the long drive to Crowley. After the call, Ladessa took her cell phone out to charge in the van because Brandon had taken their plug charger.
At 12:34am, Brandon tried to call Ladessa. He tried again at 12:36 and 12:38. Because her phone was charging in the car, she didn’t pick up. Brandon then called his brother Kyle & told him that he needed gas, he also told him that he was being chased by Mexicans; he said three (expletives) are chasing me out of town.” After clarifying what he meant, he told Kyle that he was referring to the Mexicans in the neighborhood that Ladessa had gotten to chase him out of town. He said there were three of them but one was pulled over by a state trooper & there were still two people after him. Kyle questioned if he was hallucinating from the drugs & Brandon said he wasn’t. He was on a quiet two-lane highway of US-277, close to Bronton, TX. At 12:40am, Kyle called Ladessa to let her know that he had spoken to Brandon who was stranded after running out of gas.
Kyle, his girlfriend Audrey & their four year old son, headed to Brandon & Ladessa’s house to pick up an empty gas can. Ladessa left the gas can on the porch since she was in the shower. They then headed toward the direction of Brandon’s truck. Kyle didn’t fill the can because he couldn’t afford it, so he planned to get Brandon, take him to the gas station, fill the can & go back to Brandon’s truck.
At 12:48am, Ladessa missed another call from Brandon. At 12:50am, while Brandon waited for Kyle, he called 911. The call was difficult to understand but he basically told the dispatcher that he was in a field, that his truck ran out of gas & that there was one car there, something about “I ran into em” & they should hurry. They asked if he needed an ambulance & Brandon told her he needed the cops. She asked him if anyone was hurt & the call cut off.
At 12:51am, Kyle called Brandon & left a voicemail. At 12:54am, Brandon called Ladessa & there was no answer. At 12:57am, Brandon called his neighbor. At 12:58 Brandon called Kyle three times but none connected. When their calls did connect & the two would talk, Kyle said Brandon would only say a few words & then hang up. At the same time, Brandon’s neighbor tried calling him back three times & again, the calls did not connect. During this time, a motorist noticed that the tail of Brandon’s car was parked over the line of the road which prompted him to call 911.
At 1:04am the 911 dispatcher tried to call Brandon back, she left a message & tried again. At 1:09 Brandon called Kyle 3 times but there was no connection. During the drive over, Brandon called Kyle & Audrey picked up, Brandon said, I’m bleeding, hurry up & get here. At 1:10am, Kyle arrived at Brandon’s truck & found it undamaged, the doors were unlocked & the windows were halfway down; his keys & cell phone were not there. Shortly after, a Coke County Sheriff Deputy also pulled up; Chief Deputy Brandon Neal was responding to the abandoned vehicle call. At the time the Deputy was pulling up, Kyle was talking to Brandon, trying to figure out where he was. Brandon said, “one time run” which was code for saying, run from the police. Kyle told him that he’d done nothing wrong & he wasn’t going to run. Brandon said, “Where is your pride, mother fucker?” and hung up. During their conversation, it was indicated that Brandon was nearby in a field & could see them but Kyle couldn’t see him. This was the last time Kyle heard his brother’s voice.
When Deputy Neal walked over, he asked Kyle if he was the caller; Kyle said that he wasn’t & explained the situation of Brandon running out of gas. Kyle explained that his brother had started walking & asked if he could drive around & look for him. The deputy told him Brandon wasn’t walking in the direction he just came from since he didn’t see him on his drive over. At this point, Kyle had no idea that Brandon had made the 911 call as Kyle made the drive over. Kyle couldn’t understand why Brandon would call the police for help & then run when they actually showed up. Kyle began to drive down the street & while he did, he & Audrey called out for Brandon & continued to text him. At this point, Kyle & Audrey’s son started to get hungry & restless so they drove to the bank, withdrew money & went to get food & more gas for their car. Kyle then drove over to his friend Chris’s house to get his help in finding Brandon. They then drove back to Brandon’s truck. By this time, the police officer was gone, so they drove slowly down the road, calling out to Brandon.
From there, they drove to the gas station with the gas can, put $5 worth of gas inside and then went back to Brandon’s truck. Kyle put the gas can in the back of Brandon’s truck & yelled out that this is what he was doing. He told him the police were gone & he needed to come out. From there, Kyle continued to drive up & down Highway 277 looking for Brandon.
At 3am Brandon’s phone was either turned off or lost power. Kyle drove back to Brandon’s truck & looked around for him at dawn but there was still no sign of him. At 9am his truck was towed but it was never searched. Ladessa called the police department to tell them that they couldn’t find Brandon. A report indicated that the only sign anyone had been there was a spot under a tree where it appeared someone sat down, close to the roadside and within eyesight of where Brandon’s truck sat.
When the Coke County Sheriff’s office towed Brandon’s car the morning of August 9th, they discovered that Brandon had an outstanding warrant for drug charges & spent time in jail before. They felt that Kyle withheld this information when he was speaking with Deputy Neal on the side of the road earlier that morning & that he hadn’t told the officer that Brandon was hiding in a field at the time. The police began to suspect that Kyle helped Brandon disappear but two polygraphs cleared him. During the first polygraph, they asked Kyle if he had given Brandon a ride somewhere or talked to him after the fact & knew where he was. The second test asked if he had hurt or harmed Brandon; basically asking if Kyle had killed Brandon. Kyle knows that Brandon was high on meth while everything was going on that night but that he had never gotten paranoid & saw things that weren’t there before.
The area was searched with thermal imaging cameras, airplanes & six cadaver dogs though came up with nothing. Ladessa even hired a private investigator who led a team of 10 people. Kyle told Ladessa that during his conversation with Brandon he told him that Ladessa had “people from their neighborhood after him.” Ladessa had no idea why Brandon would say that & chalked it up to paranoia.
Bradon was officially reported missing on August 13, 2013; the same day Texas Rangers conducted the helicopter searches. Local police determined the day before that Brandon was no longer in the county. At this time, Brandon’s family started the “Help Find Brandon Lawson” Facebook page to gather any tips & coordinate searches.
Kyle would say, “My brother may have been a felon & might have messed with drugs and he might have relapsed but he loved his children, he took care of his children, he was a good person. He wasn’t some dope fiend living on the streets, robbing people or trying to get over on someone to get high again.”
Police discovered that Brandon withdrew from his 401k account prior to his disappearance though he was set to start a new job within days & his family doesn’t believe that he purposely vanished.
There has been an update in the case after nearly a decade of Brandon missing. About 2pm on Friday, February 4, 2022 the Help Find Brandon Lawson Facebook page, run by his family, posted that the presumed remains of Brandon had been found. A recent search party found clothing consistent with what Brandon was wearing when he went missing. Authorities were contacted & the clothing was taken in for testing. The Texas Rangers conducted a search that led to the discovery of human remains. Brandon’s family feels that in their hearts, the remains belong to Brandon but they won’t have definitive results for as long as 6 months. His family ended the post by saying they are extremely grateful that they can lay Brandon to rest & know that he is home.
- Facebook: Help Find Brandon Lawson
- Jenson & Holes – The Murder Squad: Missing in Texas
- ati: Inside The Mysterious Disappearance Of Brandon Lawson, Who Vanished From A Highway In Texas
- True Crime Society: Brandon Lawson – The 911 call that led to a mysterious disappearance
- YouTube: Crawlspace: Brandon Lawson’s Brother Kyle
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