MEDFORD, Ore. — Precisely 10 years ago today, an 18-year-old Medford man drove away from his from his home in the 2700-block of Aldersgate Road and disappeared. Brandon Perdue—his body or his vehicle—was never found.
Between the initial investigation and more recent attempts to close the case, the Medford Police Department (MPD) have done their best to construct a timeline of events before his disappearance.
A car similar to Perdue's red Honda Civic.
On June 13, 2008, Perdue was at home and had been texting with his family and friends. He suddenly left his house, dressed in "casual clothing," and drove off in his car. MPD says that Perdue was texting that he was considering harming himself. He continued texting until his cell phone was "deactivated"—probably from a drained battery, MPD says.
The last reported contact with Perdue was a text message received by one of his friends just before 9 p.m. that night. No one has heard from him since.
Friends and family told MPD that Perdue may have traveled to the Lost Creek Lake area. Final messages from the man indicated that he may have gone to a remote location to harm himself.
During the initial investigation in 2008, investigators analyzed cell phone data, determining that Perdue drove north on Highway 62 to Eagle Point, then east on Highway 140. A cell tower on Robinson Butte—just south of Hwy 140 between Fish Lake and Lake of the Woods—registered activity from him around 7:46 p.m. that night. Although there were more messages received after that time, they could not be pinpointed to a cell site.
Perdue's family and friends, aided by MPD and Jackson County Search & Rescue (SAR), conducted organized searches near Lost Creek Lake and around Robinson Butte for days. Friends and family continued the search for weeks beyond that, even hiring an aircraft for air searches along the roadways near Hwy 140 into the Klamath Basin. Perdue's vehicle was never spotted.
Stories aired on local news and requests for tips yielded no results.
More recently, MPD have sent that cell phone data to the military for re-evaluation. They say that they have reached out to the Jackson County SAR Coordinator to see if more searches would be possible, and contacted the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), and the National Missing and Unidentified Person System (NamUs) as well.
Samples of Perdue's DNA and his dental history have also been sent out to the University of North Texas for comparison with any recovered unidentified remains.
Now, 10 years after Perdue's disappearance, MPD are asking for public assistance to close the case:
"We are asking for the public’s help in locating Brandon Perdue and or his vehicle. The vehicle is very important to locate. This vehicle may have already been found and recovered. We ask that wrecking yards, tow companies in the Southern Oregon, Northern California region to check their tow records and check their inventory for the Perdue vehicle. We ask anyone who while hunting, hiking or recreating may have seen or recovered the Perdue vehicle please contact Medford Police. Any information should be forwarded to Medford Police, Medford Oregon by phone, email or facebook."
Perdue's car was a red 1998 Honda Civic Coupe, with Oregon plates reading XVB-615. A similar vehicle is pictured below.