Everyone, at some point in their lives, gets into a good ol’ fashioned, knock-down, drag-out argument with a loved one. It happens between fathers and mothers, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters. Most of the time, we get the chance to make amends…even if it’s a few years later.
Unfortunately for Kyle and Ladessa, they would never get the chance to have that cathartic, apologetic moment with their loved one. For on that cool, summer night, fate decided to rob them of the opportunity…
Brandon and Ladessa, his common-law wife, lived in San Angelo, Texas with their three children. The two had been together for more than a decade and even though they were both still young, Brandon had a young son with a previous girlfriend, and they were finally starting to build their life together.
Brandon was a loving partner and a responsible parent. The young family had lived in Fort Worth until 2012, when Brandon’s job with Renegade Well Services forced them to make a significant move. The move was good for them though, and it looked like they were finally getting things together…
Like many working couples with young children, the Lawson family had their struggles. In August of 2013, some of those struggles and mounting frustrations came to a head. It was nearly midnight and Brandon and Ladessa had found themselves shouting at one another from across the kitchen.
Brandon rushed out of the house to get some air and cool off. He drove away and called his father to ask if he could come over for a bit. Even though it was pretty late, his father agreed. Meanwhile, Ladessa stayed at home with the kids, stewing over her husband’s sudden angry departure…
Shortly after the argument, Brandon’s brother, Kyle, stopped by the Lawson house to check in on Ladessa. She explained what had happened and he explained that he already knew. It seemed that mere minutes after the nighttime argument, Brandon had called to tell him that he’d run out of gas on Highway 277 near Bronte, Texas.
Out of Gas
Kyle told Brandon to hang tight for a few and, after checking to make sure Ladessa and the kids were alright, he headed out to Highway 277 to bring him some gas. After finding out that her husband was in good hands, Ladessa went up to sleep. She had no idea that she’d left her cell phone in the car and that she was about to get a very important phone call…
Ringing in the Car
Ladessa was sound asleep in her bed, thinking that when she woke up in the morning, her husband would be back beside her and ready to apologize. Her mobile phone was out in the car, attached to the charger. She missed several forthcoming calls from not only Brandon, but Kyle as well. She would never forgive herself for having forgotten her phone that night…
Kyle Lawson drove down Highway 277 in the dead of the night, looking for his brother. When he arrived at the mile marker Brandon had told him about, he found no sign of his brother. What he did find was Brandon’s abandoned truck sitting alongside the road and a police officer parked next to it.
It didn’t appear as if Brandon’s truck had been hit or anything, or that it had been forced off the road in anyway. There was no sign of a collision or accident, and no evidence of a struggle in the surrounding area.
On the Scene
It was as though the ground had swallowed Brandon Lawson whole. Meanwhile, the police officer at the scene seemed to have no clue what had happened to him either. When Kyle asked why he was there, the sheriff explained that he’d been dispatched to the scene after receiving a very unnerving phone call…
Yes, Coke County Sheriff Wayne McCrutchen had been sent to that dark, abandoned car on Highway 277 at the request of a 911 dispatcher. Shortly after he had called his brother to get gas, Brandon had frantically dialed 911, and though much of what he said couldn’t be understood, it appeared as though he was in trouble.
Brandon’s cryptic call went as follows: “Yes, I’m in the middle of the field.. guys over..right hereoin’ towards Abilene, on both sides. My truck ran out of gas…there’s one car here…got chased through woods. Please hurry…we’re not talking to em…an into em…just the first guy. I need the cops…” But he was cut off before the sheriff could arrive…
When Kyle arrived and began talking to the sheriff, he received another call from Brandon. The reception was just as bad and his voice kept breaking in and out. He could barely understand him and the only words he ended up making out were “ten minutes up the road”, something about bleeding, and “I’m in the field.” Before he could ask anything else, the line went dead.
If Brandon was telling the truth and he did in fact wander off into the surrounding wilderness, than he was in more trouble than he realized. The desolate surrounding area was extremely rugged and dotted with cacti. If he was wounded or had become disoriented, then he could collapse out there and be lost for days…
The next morning, Ladessa and the kids were greeted by the unwelcome news that Brandon was missing. Law enforcement began an extensive land search of the area with dogs and even dispatched some helicopters for a bird’s eye view. Unfortunately, the search turned up nothing. Neither Brandon, his keys, wallet or mobile phone were ever found.
Today, many theories about Brandon Lawson’s true fate are still bandied about. Mystery hounds and various law enforcement agencies have tried to parse through the background news on the final 911 calls. Many believe that a second voice was in the background on the call and that it can be heard alongside Brandon’s panicked pleas. But who did that voice belong to?
Brandon’s family have been adamant that something sinister took place in Bronte, Texas that night. It is their belief that Brandon was murdered. They say that they knew Brandon, he wasn’t the type to just up and disappear of his own accord and he certainly wasn’t the type to leave his wife and children without a word.
“Brandon would never do this in a million years,” explained his wife Ladessa. In addition to his character, there seems to be no other proof besides a theory that would indicate Brandon moved away after a random, common argument with his wife. There has been no activity on his bank account or his phone since his 2013 disappearance. So what really happened to Brandon Lawson?
Today, Ladessa is haunted by the night that Brandon left and the words she said to him during their argument. “It taught me so much, to always value my words. I make sure every time I drop the kids off or leave for work, I always tell them I love them. You never know when you’re going to get those last words…” And the disappearance has been just as hard on the kids.
If You See Him
Brandon is currently classified as an involuntarily missing person. He stands at 5 feet 9 inches tall, weighs 230 pounds, and has brown hair and blue eyes. He has several tattoos and on the night of his disappearance, was wearing a yellow shirt, camouflage shorts and white sneakers. If you know anything about the disappearance of Brandon Lawson, please call 800-756-3434.