Kelley Brannon is a free spirit, hardcore activist, one-woman punk rock band, and a true creator at heart.
Kelley is described by loved ones as being incredibly creative, optimistic, quick to act on social issues, and a true free spirit. Kelley earned her bachelors in arts in creative writing, she loved drawing, writing music, and traveling. Kelley ran her own one-woman punk rock band that she called “Baby Killers”. She would play anywhere from house parties to small town bars wherever she traveled. Kelley is also known to be a “hardcore activist”. Kelley’s friends explain in interviews that she was at the forefront of the Occupy Wall Street movement. She also participated in pipeline protests and women’s rights movements.
“Kelley is unlike any other person I will probably meet in my life. Always, always interested in creating.” - Cheryl Speak, Kelley’s friend.
“She gives her all to each and every project she takes on. She has so many goals, and when she sets her mind on something, she won't stop until she completes them.” - Cheryl Speak, Kelley’s friend.
As Kelley and her boyfriend drive to Detroit, MI, Eddie’s truck breaks down.
On July 9, 2020, Kelley and her boyfriend, Eddie, begin the long drive from their home in Micanopy, FL with their belongings and their chickens and dog in tow, to Detroit, MI, where they hoped to buy a home and begin their lives together. Only 77 miles into their journey, Eddie’s truck breaks down and the couple decides to sleep off of the I-93 interchange in White Springs, FL for the night.
The following morning, Kelley and Eddie call a tow yard to schedule a time for his truck to be picked up and repaired. A short time later, Eddie and Kelley are taken to Reese’s Auto Repair in Live Oak, FL, where they hoped that his truck would quickly be fixed so they could continue their journey.
The couple has trouble getting the truck fixed.
While waiting for the truck to be fixed, Kelley and Eddie have lunch at a nearby restaurant, where they meet two men named Laz and Alfredo. After a short discussion, the men agree to let Kelley and Eddie store their chickens in an extra pen on Alfredo’s property in O’Brien, FL. During the remainder of their trip, the couple has trouble getting their truck fixed, even being told that it cannot be repaired. While in the area the couple travels in Kelley’s car to St. Anastasia State Park, where they camp out for a night as well as camping out at Alfredo’s property a couple of times.
On July 13, 2020, Kelley and Eddie learn that they have to find a replacement transmission for the truck, so they head to Lakeland, FL, where they purchase a replacement transmission for a 1982 Toyota at Lakeland Auto Salvage. The following day, after returning to the auto repair shop, they are informed that the transmission they bought had been inventoried incorrectly and that the replacement part would not be able to fix the truck.
Kelley and Eddie check into a motel in Live Oak, FL.
On July 14, 2020, Kelley and Eddie checked into the Sunshine Inn in Live Oak, FL. An unnamed mechanic from the repair shop helped them being the chickens to the motel in his truck from Alfredo’s property. The group then worked out a plan to “sneak the chickens in” the motel without staff or other residents noticing. This plan leads to an argument between Kelley and Eddie. As a result of this argument, Kelley leaves the motel in her car to drive into town. Eddie reportedly goes to sleep while Kelley is locked out of their motel room.
Kelley and Eddie argue over several text messages.
From about 6:30 pm to 7:00 pm, Kelley and Eddie argue over text message about how Kelley was locked out of the motel room. Eventually, Eddie asks Kelley if she would bring a pizza back to the motel room, which she agrees to. Shortly thereafter, Kelley returns with a bottle of wine and a pizza. A statement made by Eddie upsets Kelley again, and she leaves the room with both the pizza and bottle of wine to go sit in her car in the parking lot of the motel. When Eddie leaves the room to get some pizza from Kelley, she reportedly drives away.
Kelley and Eddie continue to argue for another hour over text message.
Kelley and Eddie’s argument continues from 7:18 pm until 8:30 pm. Eventually, around 8:30 pm, Eddie knocks on a neighbor’s door to ask if he could help him bring the chickens back outside because they are starting to smell bad in the motel room. This neighbor, later identified as JR, also known as John Rodger Bonnell, agrees.
When Kelley returned to the motel shortly after, the couple argues again about the chickens being left outside. Eddie then returned to the motel room, once again leaving Kelley outside. From 8:54 pm until 9:31 pm, Kelley and Eddie continue arguing back and forth over text.
At about 10:30 pm, JR knocks on Eddie’s door and lets him know that Kelley, who has been drinking, wants to drive. He also encourages Eddie to come outside and take the car keys away from Kelley. He obliges and goes outside, taking Kelley’s keys and telling her that she can’t drive, which once again, makes her upset. When Eddie returns to the room, leaving Kelley alone in her car without her keys, they begin arguing once again over text.
Kelley sends Eddie a voicemail before she vanishes.
The couple continued arguing over text about various topics from 10:51 pm until around 12:50 am the following morning. At 12:54 am on July 15, 2020, Kelley sends her final text message to Eddie, which again, continues the argument. At 12:59 am, Kelley tries to call Eddie, but the call goes straight to voicemail, signaling that Eddie’s cell phone may have died. The following is Kelley’s voicemail message that she sent to Eddie:
"Oh great, you're sleeping. I'm so glad I got that message from you before telling me how you're sorry and you love me and how you want me so much and all that bullsh*t just to get my car. Well, anyways, I purchased my own room at the Sunshine Inn and I reported my car stolen and told them who stole it, so expect cops’ knocks at your door, and I will be right next door at my own motel room, because I’m not allowed to stay with you because when it’s you paying, only you get to benefit. Because you only look out for you. It’s your money; it’s just for you. But my money’s for both of us, essentially, which is bullsh*t, and I should obviously, definitely do the Detroit thing on my own, or go to Iceland. Like, you are not a partner. You’re not a partner. You turn on me, a, a split second. You turn on me out of nowhere, and I deserve way better. I did, I did nothing to be called a f****** stupid idiot, and I did nothing to be called a c***. So, you know, I’m sick of your abuse. So go find… Oh, I'm getting in a car right now, alright bye. (click) (pause) (tone1) (tone2) (cut off voice sound, possibly “n…”)”.
Authorities believe at this point that Kelley may have gotten into an unknown make and model four-door silver or gray sedan. Some time in the night, Kelley is seen on the Sunshine Inn's surveillance cameras outside of the motel, but the cameras do not catch Kelley walking away from the motel or getting into any vehicles.
Possible sightings of Kelley are reported.
Overnight on July 15, 2020, multipole witnesses reported seeing Kelley walking along the highway away from the Sunshine Inn towards the downtown Live Oak, FL area. The witnesses also reported that Kelley had her guitar slung over her shoulder as she walked.
Kelley’s cell phone syncs with Google sometime between 2:00-5:00 am. The reported area of this sync showed Kelley’s cell phone in the area of Dowling Avenue Southeast in downtown Live Oak, FL. Unfortunately, authorities have been unable to verify this report.
Kelley is reported missing and the search begins.
The morning after Kelley left the motel, Eddie wakes up alone and makes several phone calls to auto parts and repair shops and a credit union, along with attempting to call Kelley. According to Eddie, he believed that Kelley had slept in her car overnight, but when he realizes she isn’t in her car, he “immediately starts panicking”. This is when Kelley is officially reported missing to local authorities.
Wooded areas around the motel are searched by authorities and interviews with other residents of the motel are interviewed, to no avail. The only information investigators are able to learn during this process is that several motel guests had seen Kelley outside of the motel around the time she left Eddie the voicemail message.
Where the case stands today.
On July 21, 2020, a witness reported a sighting of Kelley in Lake Park, GA, which is approximately 38 miles away from Live Oak, FL, where Kelley was last seen. More sightings of Kelley are reported in the remainder of July of 2020 in Camilla GA. None of these potential sightings have been verified or confirmed to be Kelley by authorities. According to Captain Rountree of the Live Oak Police Department, there are several persons of interest who were staying at the motel that evening that they consider people of interest, specifically people who have criminal connections in the area. He adds that none of these individuals stand out as having an overwhelming possibility of being involved. Today, Eddie is considered their primary person of interest in Kelley’s disappearance.
“From the time Kelley was reported missing, all aspects and possible outcomes have and are continually being considered. There is no specific piece of information as of this time that leads us to determine -- or to rule out -- that foul play has occurred. Equally, certainty regarding Kelley’s current condition continues to remain unknown.” - Captain Rountree, Live Oak Police Department.
In January of 2022, officials made a plea for the public’s help in locating Kelley. In May of 2022, Kelley’s case was featured in a two-part episode of Tyler Perry’s ‘Never Seen Again’ docuseries which focuses on different missing person cases. This year marked 2 years since Kelley’s disappearance and she remains missing without any clues as to where she went on the night of her disappearance, or what may have happened to her.
“We just want to know where she is and we want the best answer… but I’m just afraid we won’t get the answer we want.” - Cheryl Speak, Kelley’s friend.
At the time of her disappearance, Kelley was described as a caucasian female with black hair and blue eyes, who stood 5’5” tall and weighed approximately 110 lbs. Kelley has a tattoo of the letter 'A' inside a circle on her right hand near her thumb. She has a scar that is indented under her left eye and her black hair is graying. If you have any information regarding Kelley’s disappearance or her whereabouts, please contact the Live Oak Police Department at (386) 362-7463 or Suzanne County Crime Stoppers at (386) 208-TIPS (8477). There is currently a $1,500 reward being offered for information leading to Kelley’s safe return or to the individual(s) responsible for her disappearance.