Brandon Lawson was a 26 year old man from San Angelo, Texas. He was an oil field worker and father of four children and he also had a common law wife named Ladessa Lofton. He is described as being 5 foot 9 inches tall and weighing approximately 230 pounds. He was a Caucasian male with brown hair and blue eyes. Lawson has multiple tattoos on his arms and has a scar on his chin and left knee and one of his ears is pierced. At the time of his disappearance, Lawson was wearing a yellow shirt, camouflage-print shorts and white 2013 Air Max shoes.

August 8, 2013 was the last time that Brendon was seen in San Angelo, Texas. He and his longtime girlfriend got into an argument which led to Brandon leaving the home at around 11:54 p.m., with the intentions of going to his father’s residence. Approximately 45 minutes later, Brandon called his brother Kyle to tell him that he had run out of gas. What is known is that following his phone call to his brother Kyle, something happened and Brandon phoned 911 and advised the dispatcher that he was “in a field” and needed help and that he needed a cop. The dispatcher heard Brandon say “I ran into somebody” and responded to him , “Ahhh, ran into them? Ok.” Another call was made to 9-1-1, by a passer-by (Trucker) regarding Brandon’s truck parked crooked on side of the road, posing a hazard. Kyle and his Kyle’s girlfriend Audrey went out to bring Brandon their gas can. Kyle, and his girlfriend Audrey, phoned Ladessa to tell her that Brandon ran out of gas and he needed their gas can. Ladessa told him she would leave on the porch as she was going to have a shower and heading to bed. Kyle’s check however did not clear in his bank account so he had no money to fill the gas can but figured when he got to Brandon with the can he would drive him to Stripes Convenient Mart and Brandon could pay for the gas…and he would drive him back to his truck and he and Audrey could be on their way back home.

The truck was located on U.S. 227 four and a half miles south of Bronte, Texas, and close to a rest stop, and parked haphazardly. By the time Kyle arrived, at 1:10 am, August 9, 2013, there was no sign of Brandon. There was also a Sheriff’s Deputy that arrived at the truck at about the same time as Kyle and Audrey. There was no visible damage to Brandon’s truck and his keys and his cell phone were missing. It is understood that the Deputy, nor Kyle, were aware that Brandon phoned 9-1-1 asking for “a cop” as well as stating, “please hurry!” While talking with the deputy, Kyle received a call from Brandon, in which Brandon’s cell was going in and out and he was hard to understand. Brandon claimed that he was “ten minutes up the road.” He also mentioned that he was bleeding. The phone went dead at this point. What Kyle understood was “I’m in the field.” Kyle, felt maybe Brandon was hiding in the field due to an outstanding warrant from 2 years ago (that Brandon himself just learned and was going to address it the following week) so Kyle made no mention to the deputy of Brandon being the phone call he was listening to. Had Kyle known Brandon phoned 9-1-1 he would never have assumed his brother was “hiding.”It was confirmed that the gas tank was in fact empty. His cell phone was a Motorola Droid Razr. There was an extensive search of the area which turned up no sign of him, however; he has never been heard from again. Lawson’s family were unaware that he called 911 that night and only found out when they viewed his cellular phone records.

At around 1:18 Audrey sent Brandon a text saying”A cop is at your truck” it is assumed she did such as she wanted to warn him due to his warrant. At this time they were not aware that he himself phoned 911 asking for a cop and to please hurry. In statements given to police, as explained by the family, they did admit Brandon’s earlier call to them in which he told his brother, and Audrey, that “he was ten minutes up the road, and was bleeding.” This was also not reported to Deputy Neal at the scene. It is also understood that Deputy Neal did not report to Kyle that Brandon phoned 911. (It’s still unclear if Deputy Neal even know if Brandon called 911)

From all media reports written by The Observer Enterprise, which happens to be owned by the Sheriff and his wife, that the 911 call was only reported as ” a stranded motorist who ran out of gas.” There was no mention of the urgency nor any mention of phrase “I ran into them”( as understood by the dispatcher) The Deputy then put emergency flashers on , locked the truck and proceeded to “leave the scene” and arranged for a tow in the morning. According to reports the Deputy did drive up and down the roadway to see if he could spot Brandon walking. Kyle and his girlfriend left the empty gas can in the bed of the truck thinking if Brandon came back he would at least have the can and could retrieve gas. They began to go look for him. It was the following morning and there was still no sign of Brandon, Kyle’s money was now available in his account so he went back to the truck and filled the can and returned it to the truck. At this point he was now starting to become concerned and felt that Brandon may not have been hiding and may be in trouble. In talking with Investigators he now gave them the full account of Brandon being on the phone at the time the Deputy was at the truck.

It wasn’t known by Brandon’s family that he called 9-1-1 until Brandon’s common law wife, Ladessa, saw on the itemised cell phone transactions, provided by law enforcement, that a 9-1-1 call was made. There has been no activity on Brandon’s bank accounts or his cell phone since that time. An extensive search was conducted by professional Search and Rescue on October 24, 2013, around the area of the abandoned truck.

Brandon’s family doesn’t believe that his outstanding felony warrant is connected to his disappearance and they also believe that he would not have run from the police because of it. He worked in the oil industry at the time of his disappearance and left behind four children, three with his girlfriend and one from a prior relationship. Although investigators have stated there’s no evidence of foul play in his case, his family stated it’s uncharacteristic of him to leave without warning and they’re afraid for his safety. He is classified as an involuntarily missing person and his case remains unsolved.
Over the years there have been many false information put out in the media by the Observer Enterprise which is run by Mrs. McCutchen, the wife of Sheriff McCutchen. Here are just a few examples:

“Law enforcement concludes man not in Coke County”

This statement is ludicrous. Just because Brandon hasn’t been found yet does not mean that he is somehow no longer in the county.

In the following statement, information is completely left out.

“Members of Texas Search and Rescue and various law enforcement agencies began arriving last Wednesday evening for Thursday’s massive search for Brandon Lawson.
This latest search stems from an incident which occurred just before 1 am Friday, August 9, 2013. It began with a 911 call about a stranded motorist just south of Bronte on Highway 277.”

She fails to mention that that particular 911 call was made by a passing motorist, a trucker who thought that Brendon’s truck was parked unsafe on the street.

Here’s yet another statement:

“The driver was not at the vehicle when Chief Deputy Brandon Neal arrived just after 1 am. However at this time, investigation has revealed that Brandon Lawson was hiding in the brush (due to an outstanding felony warrant) watching Deputy Neal while speaking to his brother, Kyle Lawson, on his cell phone.”

Here’s the problem with this statement, Brandon called 911 and requested help! Why would he then go hide in the woods when they show up. This statement makes zero sense.

Here’s yet another example:

“According to Ladessa Lofton, no one has heard from Lawson since this time.
The Coke County Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with DPS and the Texas Rangers, had already conducted an aerial search and a ground grid search without revealing any clues to his whereabouts.”

While aerial searches are good to locate someone who is alive, they are useless in trying to find someone who is no longer alive since the infrared technology will only pick heat signals and someone who is no longer alive won’t emit heat.

Here’s yet another statement:

“Following a conversation with Sheriff McCutchen and Ranger Nick Hanna, the investigation will turn elsewhere and will not include any further searches unless new detailed information arises.”

The problem with this statement is that Sheriff McCutchen was provided cell phone ping information which puts the phone approximately 3 miles away from where the truck was located and an area that has yet to be searched.

Next we will listen to the 911 call. I have three versions, the original and one which is slow and one where the pitch is changed.

Please begin a discussion on what you believe you are hearing. I’m not from Texas so I’m not familiar with the accents. One thing I will say is that it’s obvious to me that Brendon is not alone and that he has his phone on speaker mode. Also, I believe that the 911 call was greatly edited prior to being released to the public. I say this because no where on the recording to you hear the operator ask for a name or ask where he was. This is important information that all operators ask early on in the call. The fact that this is missing and the fact that the call is garbled and difficult to understand makes me think that there was some tampering.

I am absolutely convinced that someone out there knows exactly what happened to Brandon Lawson and I’m asking that person or persons to come forward. I also encourage my listeners to share this podcast episode on social media to raise awareness about this case.

If you have any information about what happened to Brendan Lawson, please contact: Coke County Sheriff’s Office 325-453-2717


13 comments on “TADP EP 27 – True Crime – Brandon Lawson Missing

  • I’ve been a 911 operator for over 20 years.
    He clearly said, “There’s one car here, a guy’s chasing me through the woods.”
    Was this never relayed to the deputies?
    I’m sure I can decipher more if I listen with headphones (which I don’t have right now).
    Will do that later today.

  • The one word I can’t make out is at the beginning.
    “Yes, I’m in the middle of a field, a (SKYPER/SKIPER/STIPER?!) just pushed some guys over…”

    The rest is pretty clear to me.

    He ran into them, not in the literal sense – his truck ran out of gas and he came upon a crime in progress.
    “They already got the first guy…(at least one gunshot heard)”

    He was killed for witnessing a crime.

  • Hi Cathy, are you bale to give a full decipher the whole call how you hear it?
    I have read many different versions.. some people are adamant he said ‘i totally ran into em’ but i hear ‘i accidentally ran into em’
    Also .. some people hear ‘right here goin towards Albeline on Bronte side’ but i hear ‘right here goin towards Albeline on both sides’

    Does anyone know about the search? Did they search the area the very next morning? Also i read somewhere that Brandon called Kyles’ girlfriend after the 912 call he made and they talked for 30 minutes?

  • This is one of the most plausible scenarios i have read to date: (i didn’t write it just copy and pasted)

    OPERATOR: 911 Emergency?

    BRANDON: Yes, I’m in the middle of a
    field. A (inaudible) pushed some guys over. We’re out here going
    towards Abilene on both sides, my truck ran out of gas. There’s one
    car here, got chasing through the woods, pretty tired
    OPERATOR: Ok now, run that by me one
    BRANDON: Hey! We’re not talking to um
    (Brandon talking to the unknown male, not the operator. That’s why he
    cuts her off as she’s speaking). I accidentally ran into ’em (now
    talking to the operator again)
    OPERATOR: Ah, you ran into them? Ok.

    UNKOWN MALE: Detective (he’s now also
    trying to call a detective he knows for help)
    BRANDON: They got the first guy

    BRANDON: Is that gunshots?

    OPERATOR: Do you need an ambulance?

    UNKNOWN MALE: Yeah (in response to
    Brandon’s question of is that gunshots?)
    BRANDON: No, I need the cops


    OPERATOR: Is anybody hurt?

    OPERATOR: Hello? Hello? Hello?

    My theory

    Brandon ran out of gas. So he got out
    of his car and started walking to find help. He came across two sets
    of guys. No idea what they were all doing there. They saw Brandon
    coming out of the dark and panicked. Brandon was going to ask them
    for help. A fight broke out. One of them ran towards Brandon and the
    other one ran in a different direction. Knowing the other two had
    guns in their car. The guy who ran towards Brandon told him to run
    too. As Brandon was confused about the whole situation. He ran with
    that guy seeing the terror in his eyes.
    The other two guys run back to their
    car. To get their guns. They then start to go looking for the three
    of them. Brandon starts to get tired running through the fields. They
    are a field or two away because they’re chasing the other guy.
    Brandon sees an opportunity to call the police.
    He looks over and can see the other two
    guys have caught the 3rd guy. They had flash-lights. His
    mate who is with Brandon starts to walk over because he’s going to
    talk to them and explain that Brandon is just some stranger. Brandon
    sees he’s starting to walk over to their direction and says “ Hey!
    We’re not talking to um”.

    The guy who’s with Brandon thinks
    better of it and then tries to call someone he knows who’s a
    detective. You can hear him say “detective”. The captured guy
    then gets shot. Brandon asks the guy he’s with “Is that gunshots?”.
    The guy responds “Yeah”.

    They both now know they are killers. So
    they start to run and stop talking so they are not heard.

  • Here is what Brandon is saying: “Yes, I’m in the middle of a field, a staper (state trooper) just threw some guy(s) over it, right here goin towards Abiline on both sides… my truck ran out of gas, there’s one car here, got chased through the woods… please hurry… there’s no talkin to him… I totally ran into him… staper shot the first guy… (three gunshots).” Brandon uses Texas slang, but once you familiarize yourself with it, you can hear what he’s saying. Also, the call is EDITED. After he mentions the field, he likely said he was (direction) of the river or the bridge with “Abiline on both sides.” We know it’s edited because Brandon does not tell us what the “it” is. The “it” is the scene of the original crime that Brandon came upon while walking towards the gas stations. Odds are, Brandon was also dumped into the river as well, or killed on private land owned by someone connected to the sheriff’s dept. Chances are the first or 2nd “staper” to pull up to the scene is the killer.

    BTW, big red flag that they searched everywhere EXCEPT for the river. They never dragged the river by the bridge where he came across the “staper” dumping a body.

    • I’ve heard quite a few locals say they believe he’s saying his location in the 911 call. If correct, this would translate it to:
      “Yes, I’m in the middle of a field along side highway, going towards Abilene toward Bronte.”
      The last word is most difficult for those like myself to think fits this, but I’ve been told that based on the general accent, his breathy words, and the pronunciation of the word locally, makes it work though. I’d be interested what anyone who is local might think about that.

  • I hear old boy. I’m local. Old boys are local landowners . I.e. Ranchers. The man is local. He “ran into an old boy” that means he encountered a local. State police in the area are by design not locals and I never have heard that term staper used locally

  • Since his girlfriend found out he called 911 from his phone records, can’t she see how long the phone call was and determine if the recording was tampered with? Also, I’m wondering what his girlfriend and brother think of the recording. Since they knew him so well, they would be the best people to decipher what he was saying.

  • I actually think he’s saying , “A skateboard just pushed some guys over . . .” “Skateboard” is trucker slang for a flatbed. You can hear him saying the “sk” sound at the beginning of the word, and the way he was talking so fast and out of breath, it would have come out sounding like “skaber”, “skaberd” or “skaper” to someone who didn’t know what he was saying. I am thinking he happened upon someone in a flatbed truck running other vehicles off the road for kicks. Also, he’s not saying, “I accidentally ran into him/’em”, he’s saying “I *actually* ran into him/’em”. (And by “ran into”, I think he means “happened upon”). The above are apparent if you listen to the slowed version of the call on other sites. It is difficult to tell what’s going on, though, because I do believe the tape has been edited. I also don’t think he was intoxicated or under the influence of anything other than abject fear and being out of breath from running.

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