Disappearance of Branson Perry
Branson Kayne Perry (February 24, 1981—disappeared April 11, 2001) is an American man who vanished under mysterious circumstances from his residence at 304 West Oak Street in Skidmore, Missouri. His disappearance received national coverage and was profiled extensively in a book by journalist and crime writer Diane Fanning concerning Perry's relative, Bobbie Jo Stinnett, who was murdered and had her unborn child stolen in 2004.
Branson Kayne Perry
February 24, 1981
|Disappeared||April 11, 2001 (aged 20)|
Skidmore, Missouri, U.S. Coordinates:
|Status||Missing for 18 years, 10 months and 2 days|
|Height||5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)|
|Relatives||Bobbie Jo Stinnett (cousin)|
Perry disappeared on the afternoon of April 11, 2001 after walking out of his house, having told his visiting friend that he was returning a pair of jumper cables to an exterior shed. This was the last time he was seen. After several years of investigation, police arrested Jack Wayne Rogers of Fulton, Missouri, on various charges unrelated to Perry's disappearance. In their investigation, they recovered message board posts made from Rogers's home computer that described a first-hand account of Perry's rape and murder. Rogers denied any involvement, and was sentenced to 30 years in prison on the unrelated charges in 2004.
Branson Kayne Perry was born February 24, 1981, and raised in Skidmore, Missouri. He graduated from Nodaway-Holt High School in 1999. After graduating, Perry worked odd jobs, including as a roofer and helping maintain a traveling petting zoo in the area, and resided with his father at 304 West Oak Street in Skidmore. His parents were recently divorced. Perry suffered from tachycardia, a condition that made his heart race excessively. He was a black belt in hapkido.
On April 7, 2001, Perry visited the home of his neighbor Jason Bierman and was inadvertently drugged. While intoxicated, Perry allegedly danced around the house nude, shaved his pubic hair, and then engaged in sex with Bierman. After the incident, Perry confessed it to his father and was upset as he felt he had been taken advantage of. His father, Bob, claimed he knew Branson was homosexual and suspected he had had encounters with men in the past, but was angry with Bierman for "drugging and then using his son."
On the afternoon of April 11, 2001, Perry invited his friend, Gena, over to his house to help clean the residence as Perry's father, Bob, who had recently been hospitalized, was due to return home. At this same time, two other unnamed men were outside the residence working on Perry's father's car, which needed a new alternator. At approximately 3:00 p.m., Perry told Gena he was going to take a pair of jumper cables outside to a shed adjacent to the house. This was the last time he was seen.
On April 12, 2001, Perry's grandmother, Jo Ann, stopped by his home and found the house unlocked and no one there. She found this unusual, and called the residence periodically over the next several days, but got no answer. Upon calling Perry's mother, Rebecca Klino, she found she had not spoken to him either. Perry's father, Bob, was discharged from the hospital several days later than planned, and after his release, he and Klino filed a missing person report on April 17, 2001. Ground search parties were organized by Nodaway County police within a 15-mile (24 km) radius of the Perry residence. Numerous fields, farms, and abandoned buildings were searched, but the efforts proved fruitless. During a search of the property, police were unable to locate the jumper cables Perry had purportedly left to return in the shed; two weeks later, however, they were found just inside the door.
Over the following month and a half, over one hundred people were interviewed in Perry's disappearance. His friend, Gena, who had been at Perry's home the day of the disappearance, admitted to law enforcement that Perry had recently been experimenting with marijuana and amphetamines. A family member also informed police that Perry had a bottle of Valium in his possession the day he disappeared. Law enforcement questioned drug acquaintances of Perry's in St. Joseph, but all stated they had not seen Perry, and each passed polygraph examinations. Further investigation into the local drug trade was undertaken, but no discernable leads were uncovered despite rumors that Perry owed drug dealers money. Perry's father, Bob, initially suspected that his son had left to stay with friends in Kansas City, embarrassed by the sexual encounter with Bierman from several days before. Because Perry did not have a working car at the time, Bob presumed he may have hitchhiked.
Jack Wayne RogersEdit
On April 10, 2003, law enforcement arrested 59-year-old church Presbyterian minister and Boy Scouts leader Jack Wayne Rogers on child pornography and obscenity charges, as well as first-degree assault and practicing medicine without a license after Rogers removed a trans woman's genitals in a makeshift gender reassignment surgery at a hotel in Columbia, Missouri. The victim, Madison (née Michael) Abercrombie, stated: "I didn't know his motivation when I went into it. I was under a lot of emotional stress, and it seemed like there was no alternative." Rogers told Abercrombie that he would remove her genitals in a four-hour operation, but complications ensued and he was unable to stop bleeding, after which Abercrombie phoned 9-1-1.
While investigating Rogers's personal belongings, detectives discovered child pornography on his computer, as well as evidence of various posts made on message boards under the usernames "BuggerButt," "ohailsatan," and "extremebodymods," describing the graphic torture and assault of multiple men. In the message board posts, Rogers also discussed cannibalizing the genitals of other men he had castrated. Among these posts was a firsthand account of Rogers's picking up a blond male hitchhiker, then raping, torturing, mutilating, and murdering him. In the online post, it was claimed that the man's body was buried in a remote area of the Ozarks. Despite this, Rogers denied ever seeing Perry or knowing him, and asserted that the post made was fabricated and purely fantasy; law enforcement, however, suspected the man in question was Perry. While performing a subsequent search of Rogers's property, a turtle claw necklace resembling one owned by Perry was discovered in one of Rogers's vehicles.
In April 2004, Rogers was convicted of the charges and sentenced to 17 years in prison for assault and seven years for performing illegal surgery, as well as 30 years for child pornography charges, which would run concurrent with the former two charges. At his sentencing, Perry's mother begged for him to reveal Perry's whereabouts, but Rogers denied being involved in his disappearance. After attending the sentencing, Perry's mother stated she no longer felt Rogers was responsible for her son's disappearance:
The police are not completely ruling him out, but now the investigation has turned towards Skidmore again. They have received new leads there. I suppose time has a way of unraveling secrets. I believe someone in that area knows what happened to Branson. In my heart, I don't believe this suspect is responsible. Despite the nightmare I lived through [at his sentencing], I am thankful that someone with that much evil will never walk the streets again.
Perry's father Bob died in 2004. In June 2009, law enforcement revealed they were completing an excavation of a site in Quitman, Missouri, after receiving a "credible tip" that Perry's remains may have been located there. Over a period of two days, excavators dug a 23-foot (7.0 m)-deep hole that covered an area of around 20 feet (6.1 m) by 40 feet (12 m). At the time, another local farmer who resided 1.5 miles (2.4 km) east of Quitman stated that law enforcement had searched his property several years prior searching for an abandoned well, but the search yielded no results. In 2010, Klino offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to her son's whereabouts.
In February 2011, Klino died after a years-long battle with melanoma. Jo Ann Stinnett, Perry's grandmother, said at the time of her Klino's death: "Around town, we searched every oil well, every outside toilet. We searched everywhere that was possible for us to think that something could be there." Monica Caison, the founder of the CUE Center for Missing Persons and a friend of Klino, stated that she and other close friends has "promised her they would continue to look for her son." In her obituary, it was noted that Klino was "preceded in death" by Perry, and she was buried beside an empty plot for Perry that lists his date of death as April 11, 2001, the same day he disappeared.
Perry's disappearance was profiled extensively in a chapter of Diane Fanning's 2006 book Baby Be Mine, which focused on the murder of Perry's cousin, Bobbie Jo Stinnett, in 2004. The case also received coverage in a July 17, 2010 episode of the network television program America's Most Wanted.
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