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The Disappearance of Brandon Swanson

Near 2 A.M. on the morning of May 14, 2008, Brandon Swanson (of Marshall, Minnesota) drove his car into a ditch while he was on his way home from a party in which he was celebrating the end of the spring semester at school. He had been attending Minnesota West Community and Technical College, and he had been celebrating with some of his fellow students.

He was uninjured from the accident, but he was unable to get his car out of the ditch.. He got out of his vehicle and called his parents on his cellphone so they could come pick him up. He was not entirely sure of where he was, and he gave them the location where he thought that he was at. He believed that he was near the town of Lynd, and his parents drove out to the part of the highway that he had believed that he was on. When they arrived at the place Brandon had told them he believed he was located, they were unable to find him. He attempted to flash the car’s lights on and off to make it easier for them to figure out where he was, but this did not help them.

After a while, he gave up trying to flash the lights for them, and he told his parents that he was going to leave his car and walk toward the lights he saw in the distance. He was sure that the lights were from the town of Lynd, and he thought he had a better chance of being found and picked up if he were in town. He told his father to head for the parking lot of a bar in town and wait for him there.

His parents stayed on the phone with him during the interim, staying on for a total of 47 minutes. At around 2:30 A.M., Brandon shouted a curse in surprise and became silent. He said nothing more for the remainder of the call, and his parents attempted to hang up and call him back, but he could not be reached.

In the morning, his parents reported him missing, but the police instructed them to wait. They claimed that Brandon’s behavior was not uncommon for someone of his age, and he would likely come back home without incident. However, later in the day, things became more troubling when his cellphone records showed that he had not been near Lynd like he believed he was; he was actually near Porter, which was 25 miles from where he had believed he had been when he called his parents for assistance. This helped in the location of his car near Taunton.

Depside the finding of his car, Brandon was not found, and he, has not been seen or heard from since; no one is sure what happened to him after he became silent while on the phone with his parents. Some people believe that he may have accidentally fallen into the Yellow Medicine River, which was near where his car was found, and he drowned as a result (his father recalls Brandon saying that he could hear water nearby while they were on the phone together). Searches were conducted with this theory in mind, but his body has still not been found. There have not picked up any trace of him; the searches have been conducted for several years in hopes of finding something.

As a result of his disappearance, Brandon’s parents lobbied the state legislation, and a new law was passed. Brandon’s Law requires that police begin their investigations of missing adults promptly.

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