Brandon Swanson

Assume you’ve finished another year of college. You’re out of school for another summer and one step closer to the real world. You celebrate with your classmates before beginning your journey home. Except you never come back home.

This is what happened in May 2008, when 19-year-old Brandon Swanson was on his way home from celebrating the end of the spring semester with friends.

The disappearance of Brandon Swanson

Brandon Swanson left for home at midnight on May 14, 2008, shortly after the celebration had ended. He called his parents on his cell phone around 2 a.m., telling them he had driven his Chevy Lumina off the road and into a ditch near Lynd, Minnesota. He was unharmed and requested that his parents pick him up.

Annette and Brian Swanson venture out into the night in search of their son, continuing to speak with him on the phone in order to pinpoint his exact location. They flashed their headlights to alert Brandon when they arrived at the location he described, but Brandon missed the lights and responded by flashing his own after getting back into his car, which his parents also missed.

 It became apparent that the two parties were not together, Brandon told his parents that he was leaving his car and heading in the direction of what he believed to be the lights of the town of Lynd. While still on the phone with his son, he instructed his father to wait for him in the parking lot of a nearby bar.

About 47 minutes into the call, at around 2:30 am, Brandon abruptly yelled, “Oh shit!” interrupting their relaxed conversation. Brandon’s parents assumed he must have dropped his phone, so they started to yell his name for him to find it, but the connection was broken. Brandon didn’t pick up when they tried to call him back in the hopes that he would locate the phone by spotting the light from the cell phone in the pitch black. Since then, no one has seen or heard from Brandon.

The Search for Brandon Swanson

The police were alerted the following morning, and a delayed search for Brandon Swanson got under way with help from helicopters, volunteers, and dogs. After obtaining Brandon’s cell phone records, the sheriff’s office discovered that he had been calling from close by Taunton, which is 25 miles from Lynde. After searching the area, they discovered Brandon’s car in a gravel road ditch near the border of Lincoln County. Oddly, in a place where there were no lights of any kind to be seen. There were no tracks in the vicinity of the car to indicate Brandon’s initial direction of walking.

Many people believed that he fell into the stream and drowned after a team of bloodhounds discovered a 3-mile trail that went along field roads to an abandoned farm and then along the Yellow Medicine River. Boats were used in the search for his body under the assumption that he drowned because Brandon’s father recalled him talking about passing fences and hearing water nearby.

On the opposite bank of the river, the dogs also detected his scent along a gravel path that led to the deserted farm, though they soon lost it. His body, clothes, or other belongings were not discovered in the river, either. Additionally, Brandon had to manually end the call, and his phone was still able to make calls, indicating that it was functional and most likely not submerged in water.

What happened since it didn’t appear that he drowned then? Volunteer firefighter Darrin E. Delzer, who became involved in the investigation, has a reasonable explanation. Reviewing the Suspicious Activity Report, he learned information that the media had never covered (S.A.R). First and foremost, Brandon needed to wear glasses because he was legally blind in one of his eyes. But he had forgotten his glasses in his car.

Now, if you were blind in one eye and traversing unknown terrain at night, wouldn’t you bring your glasses with you? It is illogical unless he was intoxicated at the party. Even stranger, his parents and friends who last saw him at the party said he appeared sober and normal.

The S.A.R report also revealed that, just before the call came to an end, Brandon told his father he was crossing fields and fences while exclaiming, “Not another fence,” before saying, “Oh shit.” His father overheard him climbing the fence in this brief period and then what appeared to be him slipping on rocks.

Brandon Swanson with his Sister

Brandon Swanson was the subject of numerous, in-depth searches over the years, but neither he nor his cell phone were ever located. What do you think happened to him? Did he fall in the river and drown? Or did he intentionally disappear? Or he was abducted in the dark??

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