Having your child grow and start to mature and then go out on their own is hard for any parent. But when your child goes missing, and there isn’t anything you can do it’s a devastating feeling that leaves a parent feel helpless. Here is a case that the Swanson family has had to endure for the past thirteen years. Here is the mystery of the disappearance of Brandon Swanson.
After midnight on May 14, 2008, Brandon Swanson who was 19 and was a student at the Community Technical College. He was on his way home from a party celebrating the end of the semester with his fellow students. On his way home he drove his car into a ditch. He had been uninjured but got out of the car and called his parents.
Brandon didn’t know exactly where he was as it was a rural area, but he told his parents that he believed he was near Lynd, MN. They drove to pick him up, but were never able to locate him. Brandon remained on the phone with them, until he had gone silent 47 minutes later after exclaiming “Oh, shit!” Nobody has seen or heard from Brandon since that time.
In the morning, his parents had filed a missing person’s report, but the authorities, stated that his disappearance wasn’t uncommon for young men his age. One officer told Annette Swanson, Brandon’s mother, that it was his “right to be missing.” Later that day an investigation was started. The police found no trace of Brandon.
Here’s where it gets more confusing: Brandon had been driving back home to Marshall, MN, and thought that he had broken down near the town of Lynd. His parent’s had driven that way to pick him up, but had not seen him at all, nor his car.
Cell towers showed that his last contact was near the town of Porter, MN, which was 28 miles away from Lynd, and in the opposite direction of where his parents were driving to. In fact, his car was found closer to the town of Taunton, MN.
As Brandon was attending school in Canby, MN and that is where the party he had been attending was held, why would he have thought he was near Lynd? Friends that had seen him at the party stated he had not been drinking in excess and was not impaired to drive. Why would he not know the cities he was closest too if it was a route he would have driven on a regular basis?
The police from several counties all helped search for Brandon in the area his car was found, they had bloodhounds, aerial searches and even diving teams as the Yellow Medicine River was nearby and they weren’t sure if Brandon had fallen into the river and drowned.
Brandon’s family hold out hope that he may still return home. However, after 13 years it’s more realistic to believe he has died. One of the bloodhounds had followed a trail past the river and closer to the county line, so Annette Swanson does not believe her son drowned in the river. Brandon is still missing, and the case remains unsolved.
A positive note out of this, is that the comment made to Annette that her son had a “right to be missing” by the Lynd Police Department, sparked a desire to change the laws regarding missing adults.
Annette and Brian Swanson were successful in lobbying the Minnesota government to change the laws regarding missing children to change the word “child” to “person”. This law is now known as Brandon’s Law and requires police to immediately investigate a missing person, regardless of age. Had the police acted right away, it’s possible that Brandon’s family would have closure today.
The effect of the change also required that police, in addition to determining in their preliminary investigation that the reported person is indeed missing, determine whether that person is potentially in dangerous circumstances. They must also notify other nearby law enforcement agencies promptly. Brandon’s Law also clarifies that the agency taking the report is the lead agency investigating the case.
If you know anything about the disappearance of Brandon Swanson, please reach out to the Sheriff’s Office at 507.537.7666
Stay Curious my Friends!