Brandon Swanson, a 19-year-old freshman at Minnesota West Community and Technical College, was having fun with his friends on the last day of school.
Swanson called home on May 14, 2008, just after midnight, and told his parents he needed a ride because he had driven into a ditch in Lynd, Minnesota, a nearby town. Annette and Brian Swanson left right away in their pickup to look for their son and his green Chevy Lumina sedan.
“We got in the pickup to go to this spot where he felt he was,” Brian Swanson said. He thought he knew where his son was, which was about 10 minutes from their Marshall home.
Brian Swanson said, “He was absolutely positive he knew where he was.” The parents talked to their son on the phone the whole way to pick him up. But when they got there, neither the car nor Brandon was there. They turned around and made their truck’s lights flash.
“We were saying, ‘We’re flashing our lights!’ ” Annette Swanson said. They could hear their son turning on the lights in his car over the phone. Click. Click. Click.
“Don’t you see me?” he asked.
“There was nothing,” his father stated, “absolutely nothing.” Everyone was frustrated about the situation.
Swanson told his parents that he was going to walk back to Lynd to visit a friend. His father drove home to drop Annette off and then went back to look for the teen. They called each other just before 2 a.m. and ended up talking for a long time while the younger Swanson led his father to where he was.
He told his father to look for him in the parking lot of a Lynd nightclub, which was a popular place to meet. But after 47 minutes, the call was cut short. When the teen swore, the phone went dead.
No one ever heard from him again after that.
MISSING in Minnesota… Since 05.14.2008.. ELEVEN years!!
Brandon Swanson, 19, (age at disappearance), Marshall, Minnesota. Multiple extensive searches have come up empty Call MNBCA at 651-793-7000. #BrandonSwanson #Missing #teen #Marshall #Minnesota @aware_the pic.twitter.com/J8eywx8q5u
— Mickey Van Deren (@LtGovMickey) May 17, 2019
His father stated, “We called at least five or six more times. He never picked up the phone again.”
They asked the friends of their son for help. They looked all night long by driving on dirt roads and through fields. He was nowhere to be found.
Annette Swanson called the Lynd Police Department at 6:30 a.m. to report that Brandon was missing. Eventually, officers joined the search. They also didn’t find anything, so a request was sent out to the whole county to widen the search.
The teen told his parents that he was in Lynd, but phone records later showed that he wasn’t there. His cell phone calls led to a tower in Minnesota, which was 20 miles away.
That afternoon, Lyon County police found Swanson’s car about 25 miles from Lynd, in Porter.
Investigators used search dogs, which led them to a wooded area near the Yellow Medicine River. In some places, the river is only up to your knees. In other places, it is 15 feet deep. At the time that Swanson went missing, the river was high and moving quickly.
But the police aren’t sure that the teen jumped into the river. Vizecky said that if Swanson had fallen into the river, he should have been found in the river or further down.
Annette Swanson said that she, too, is not sure that her son drowned.
Vizecky leaves the door open to the idea of foul play. He said that cadaver dogs and searchers should have found Swanson’s body or some evidence that he had died from the weather.
Vizecky said, “I can’t explain why clothing, belongings wouldn’t surface. I can’t explain why after searching for three weeks, [the dogs] could not smell anything.”
What happened to their son is what the Swansons want to know.
Annette Swanson said, “You know people don’t vanish into thin air, but it sure seems like he did.”
Brandon Swanson is 5’6″ tall and weighs 125 pounds. He has brown hair and blue eyes. When he was last seen, he was wearing blue jeans, a twisted white or black hat, and a white short-sleeved shirt.
Anyone who knows where Brandon Swanson is should call the Lincoln County sheriff at (507) 694-1664.
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