Overview of Brandon Victor Swanson
Brandon Swanson was born on January 30, 1989, in Marshall, Minnesota, U.S., a son to Brain and Annette Swanson. Brandon was only 19 years old when he went missing. He was last seen in Marshall, MN, on May 14, 2008.
Brandon was a 2007 high school graduate of Marshall Senior High School. He was also a freshman enrolled in a one-year program in Wind Turbines at Minnesota West Community and Technical College in Canby, Minnesota.
On May 13, 2008, Minnesota West Community and Technical College's academic year ended. To celebrate, Brandon attended two parties his friends had thrown. The first party Swanson attended was in Lynd, Minnesota, 7 miles away from his home in Marshall. Brandon left the party to attend another party, a drive 40 minutes away from Lynd in Canby, Minnesota, the last sighting of Swanson.
Brandon had consumed alcohol, according to his friends who attended both parties. Swanson's friends stated he was not intoxicated from what they could see. Brandon left the party by midnight to drive back home by himself.
Swanson, a native of the area, knew the directions to get back home to Marshall, but he ran into trouble by crashing his Chevy Lumina into a small ditch. He was uninjured. Not being able to get out of the ditch, Brandon called his parents at 1:45 am to pick him up and provided Brian and Annette the directions where he was located. He said he was midway between Lynd and Marshall, a 30-minute drive from his home. Both of his parents drove to the area where Brandon had provided his whereabouts but could not see him. Brain called Brandon's cell phone to ask if he could see their headlights and honks, and Brandon said he heard and saw nothing. That's when his parents knew he had the wrong directions.
Brandon was frustrated because he was confident he was providing the right directions to his parents. Brandon stayed on the phone with his mother and said he would leave his car and start walking toward the lights he could see in the distance, which he assumed was the town Lynd. Brandon would stay on the phone with his parents for 47 minutes, and around 2:30 am, Brandon screamed, " Oh Shit," and that's when the call ended. Brandon's father called back multiple times, but Brandon never picked up.
Brandon's parents called the police around 6:30 am to report him missing due to not hearing from him for hours and searching throughout the night. Brandon's age of 19 years old is considered an adult, so the police did not take the report seriously. A few hours later, the police agreed to open a missing person case and started searching. Police obtained Brandon's cell phone records and concluded Swanson was not in Lynd. Not even close to the town, he was near a small town called Taunton, 25 miles away from Lynd. Brandon's vehicle was found in a ditch in Taunton, confirming the location.
A ground search was launched by helicopters, and bloodhounds were brought into the investigation. The dogs followed a scent trail through an abandoned farm and past fields leading to the river, Yellow Medicine River. The water was around 15 feet at the time.
Brandon's case was handed over to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Investigation in 2010. A tip line was set up, and by 2015 there were 90 leads reported, but nothing has turned up. Brandon's Law, named for Swanson, was passed later in 2008. The law requires Minnesota police to begin an immediate search for missing adults under 21, as well as older adults who are missing under suspicious circumstances. Swanson's case remains unsolved.
This case was researched and written by Uncovered Community Member, Cynthia E.