(Introduction to show begins)
TODD MATTHEWS (Missing Pieces Host): I’m Todd Matthews and welcome to Missing Pieces. Tonight we have Becky Perry Klino, how do you pronounce that, Becky?
BECKY PERRY KLINO (Guest): Klino.
TODD: Klino, okay. She’s the mother of missing Branson Perry. And Branson has been missing since April 11, 2001. That’s been 6 years.
TODD: Six long years. You’ve married again.
BECKY: Yes, I remarried last summer.
TODD: And he was missing in Skidmore, Missouri?
BECKY: Uh huh.
TODD: Is that where it happened?
BECKY: In Skidmore, yes, a small town in Northwest Missouri.
TODD: Is it very close to St. Louis?
BECKY: Not very close at all, no. It’s across the state…
TODD: Wow, okay.
BECKY: …and quite a bit further north.
TODD: Close to any big cities?
BECKY: St. Joseph and Kansas City. It’s about 100 miles north of Kansas City.
TODD: I’m way out in the boondocks here where I’m at, too. I’m in Middle Tennessee. Okay, going back to that day, I know these are never easy for parents, but it’s good to do it and get the information out so we’ll do the best we can with it and try not to make it rough on you.
BECKY: Okay. About 3 o’clock on a Wednesday afternoon, this is from a story that was told to me, or how it was told to me; that Branson was at his home where he and his father were living, and his father had been in the hospital, or was in the hospital at the time, and was supposed to come home that Friday. Branson wanted to have the house cleaned and straightened up and everything before his father came home.
TODD: Uh huh.
BECKY: So he had a friend that was helping him clean it, and at one point, everything is so sketchy, I’ve just gotten pieces here and there, but at one point, she says that he ran into the kitchen and took something out of the cabinet and ran out the back door before she could stop him or anything and find out what he was doing. Once he came back in, she asked him and he said, “Nothing,” and he seemed very calm and very casual. Then, I guess, at another point in time, I don’t know where Branson was, but there was a gentleman or a guy that had been out front working on Branson’s father’s car. The alternator needed to be replaced, and I guess they were replacing it for him, and when she came out of one of the rooms, she saw him (the car mechanic) in the kitchen, and she asked him what he was doing, and he told her, “Nothing.” Now, whether either one of those parts of the story are true or not, I honestly can’t say for sure. I don’t totally trust the individual that told me these things, although she was the one that she supposedly there, she’s kind of known for not always telling the exact story or telling exactly what happened. But then she said that about 3 o’clock, she looked out, she heard the front shut, and she looked out the window, and saw Branson, and said that she asked him where he was going, and he told her he was putting the jumper cables, that had been on the front porch, down in the shed, which is on a lot adjacent to the house. And he did have jumper cables in his hands, she said, so she didn’t think anything about it. But then, that was the last time she saw him. He never returned. She never heard any more from him. The jumper cables…when the investigation began, they looked in the shed, and the cables had not ever arrived there. They weren’t there anywhere. They wound up showing up about 2 weeks after Branson had disappeared, after we had filed the missing person report.
TODD: So the cables actually finally did show up?
BECKY: Yeah, about 2 weeks later, right inside the door of the shed. Uh huh.
TODD: Did they try fingerprints?
BECKY: I asked them about that and they told me that because of what they were made out of and because they had been handled by so many people, that they probably wouldn’t be able to get anything good off or it, so as far as I know, no, they never did fingerprint the cables.
TODD: So Branson was 19 and he was just about to be 20.
TODD: Okay. And he’s a white male, 5’9”, 155 lbs, normal to slightly thin.
BECKY: He was 20. I’m sorry, he was 20 when he disappeared.
TODD: So he had actually already turned 20.
BECKY: It was after his birthday, yeah.
TODD: Blue eyes, blond hair. And can you tell me about any scars that he may have had?
BECKY: He had a small scar on his right cheek, upper right cheek, where he had been throwing a stick in the air when he was younger and looked up, and it came down and hit him in the face and hurt him there. And then he had a very small scar on his left knee where he had fallen in some rocks and cut it open. But outside of that, that’s it.
TODD: And his dentals, there’s obviously a good dental record; several fillings, wisdom teeth have been removed. And I’m reading about his medical condition…he did have a heart condition?
BECKY: He had tried, right after he got out of high school, he tried to get into the Army…
TODD: Uh huh.
BECKY: …and he went to do the physical and did not pass the physical, and so they had him come in and do some extensive testing, and whether it was caused by nerves or what, they told him that he wouldn’t be able to join the Army because his heart would keep racing whenever they were running the tests or the exercises or whatever it was that they were doing, and so he wasn’t able to get into the Army.
TODD: Hmm. Now, he has an agency case number; I’m looking on his case file. Was he entered into the NCIC?
TODD: Okay. I’m flipping through the pages; I always flip through the pages when I’m actually recording the show. And the investigative agency is Nodaway County Sheriff?
BECKY: Yes. Sheriff Ben Espey was the sheriff of Nodaway County that was investigating the case. Since then, Sergeant (David) Merrill out of the Missouri Highway Patrol has been the contact person I’ve worked with and has been the lead investigator for the last 4 years now.
TODD: And their phone number is (660) 582-7451, if anyone has any information to share about this, and nothing is too small. We’d love to hear anything we can find out about this. I see you have an age progression.
BECKY: Yes, Pho-Joe did it for us.
TODD: How did you like it? Did it look like how you thought it would look like?
BECKY: No. It’s hard for me to look at it. It’s very difficult to imagine him looking any other way than he did when I last saw him.
TODD: Age progressions, you know I work with that type of thing, with forensic art and age progressions, they’re always particularly difficult to do an age progression with family members because sometimes their thoughts and ideas of how things might change are often different than what the artist might have. It’s just really hard to get something that’s pleasing, yet accurate enough to be a representation rather than a portrait of somebody. It’s not an easy thing to do.
TODD: Now, when this first happened, where were you at when you heard what had happened? When you first got the message that there was something wrong?
BECKY: Bob, his father’s name was Bob, and he had gotten out of the hospital on Sunday. His mother had gone over, she lived in the same town that Branson and Bob did, and she had gone over to check on Branson because she hadn’t heard from him for several days. The first time she went to check was on that following Friday and when she got to the house the door was open, the music was playing, and she didn’t think a whole lot about it because it was Skidmore, and nobody shuts their doors or locks their doors there, or didn’t at the time. But then she went back again on checked on Saturday, and still there was no change; nothing looked like he had been around or whatever, so she started making phone calls to his friends and nobody had seen him, so she called Bob in the hospital. They went ahead and released him and he called me Sunday night at my house. I was living in a little town called Oregon, about 20 miles from Skidmore, at the time. He called me that evening and told me what was going on, and I met him and his mother at the police station on Monday morning, and we filed a missing person report at that time.
TODD: Now did you face any difficulties filing this missing person report? Were you told anything unusual or did they pretty much just take your report?
BECKY: No, they pretty much took the report. They wondered why it had taken so long…
TODD: Uh huh.
BECKY: …to actually having filed it, but after having explained that Bob had been in the hospital and Joanne just wasn’t sure, and that I had just been contacted Sunday night of the whole situation. They were regretful that it had taken that long to file it that they didn’t give us any problems at all at the time. They were very receptive.
TODD: Well, with him being an adult, they probably would have held off a little in the beginning anyway, with filing the report.
BECKY: It’s more than likely. When I tried to contact media within the next day, I can’t even remember for sure what day it was, probably Wednesday or Thursday, when I was trying to get a hold of media to try to get some news coverage, the local news station told me that it wasn’t newsworthy; that he was a 20-year-old male and was probably just out doing what 20-year-old males do. So they would give me nothing, no coverage at all.
TODD: Have you found that to change over the past few years?
BECKY: Yeah, as…I don’t know, I guess within a year, I guess it was almost a year after Branson’s disappearance, there was a local psychic that got involved in the case. I don’t believe that she had anything of any worth; she was just after the money that was there. But she still had a spot on the local channel and she started covering it and giving it some coverage, and then the channel itself, during news time, would cover it. In the last year they’ve been, I think the news editor is no longer there that I first dealt with, and they have been very receptive of any kind of happenings to come in and actually do an interview. I recently put up billboards along the highways going into Skidmore; it’s got 3 main highways going into the town, and they came and took pictures and put it on the news and did an article, and just quite a few little things there for me lately.
TODD: That was Highway 13 and Route 5?
BECKY: Route V.
TODD: Route V, okay, you actually call it V. I thought it was a Roman numeral. (Laughs)
BECKY: (Laughs too)
TODD: Okay, it says recently that you renewed the search, late last year. That’s where you put up the billboards and actually posted a reward. Now how did you come to the conclusion to do the reward? You know I know that’s usually an obvious thing, but how did it come about?
BECKY: The reward I initially started was a $5,000 reward. It was money that I had raised from while I was…when Branson disappeared, I was putting myself through school and working as a waitress, and I had been saving the money to actually go on an ocean tour one day.
TODD: Uh huh.
BECKY: I decided that when this happened, that the money was going into a fund to help in the search for Branson. I had about $5,000. That’s what I had, and recently, I kind of put together as much money as I could and upped it to $10,000.
TODD: So it’s pretty much your money, then?
TODD: This is your offer; not offered by law enforcement or Crime Stoppers?
BECKY: No. No, this is my money. Now, we did do a fundraiser, in the town where I was living at the time, they got together and we all put together a fundraiser and we raised some money to help increase the amount, but most of it is from my own money.
TODD: Now what are the terms of this reward?
BECKY: Any information leading to the arrest or conviction of the persons responsible for Branson’s disappearance.
TODD: Have you had any tips or anything?
BECKY: Whether the law enforcement has, I don’t know.
TODD: Uh huh.
BECKY: It’s not something that they share with me. I find that I don’t get a whole lot of information from them. In fact, I’ve tried to contact Sgt. Merrill in the last couple of months, three different times and have never had my calls returned. And I realize that he’s got many other cases, and this one is getting to be a rather old case, but…so I really don’t know what’s going on.
TODD: So, of course, that makes you feel like possibly it’s been on the back burner so long, that nothing’s being done.
BECKY: And that’s what I think, although when Branson’s 6th anniversary came up, the newspapers did an article, of course, and they had contacted, I guess, Sheriff Espey and he told them, or in the article it stated that the investigation is still on-going, that they do gets leads in every few months and that they do follow up on them, but what the leads are, I don’t really know.
TODD: What if you went to the law enforcement agency and actually requested a meeting?
BECKY: I tried to contact him, by phone, but not go to the office itself. He’s very rarely in the office, I understand.
TODD: Hmm. It might be time for a face-to-face meeting.
BECKY: That’s what I’m hoping for, yeah.
TODD: You know I’ve seen a lot of cases now that are actually beginning to help advocate changes in the law in the way these cases are handled now. Have you seen some of those?
BECKY: Not a whole lot. I try to search on the Internet and try to research different cases that have happened, and I can only do it for so long. I just can’t deal with it. I’m having still a very difficult time dealing with this myself. And I know that that’s cop out and it’s a pretty lousy excuse and I just wish I had a book that told me how to do it.
TODD: There’s usually not a very good book for something like that because all the cases are so different. A lot of times, people find that they’re lighting their own path as they go, in these cases. You divorced…you and his father divorced about a year before he actually went missing, did…you know, I’m just casting this out there, did this present anything do you think, did it bother him? Did this seem to be a problem for him?
BECKY: I’m sure it was difficult. I mean I always felt that we were a fairly close family, but the divorce was on a friendly tone. I mean Bob and I could still communicate and we could still talk and so I mean there wasn’t a lot of anger and despair. In fact, Bob helped me move out, so you know it was done on good grounds, I feel. It was a mutual desire, I guess, if that’s how you want to put it, mutual agreement, that this is what we needed to do, and so it was okay, and the boys, Branson was old enough, he was out of school. We have one other son that was still in school and decided that he would live with me until after he graduated, but they came and went to Bob’s house or to my house as they wanted to, I mean, the doors were always open all the time.
TODD: Do you feel like Branson had pretty much gotten used to the idea that you two were apart?
BECKY: I think so. I mean, I’m sure that it did bother him to a certain extent, but not to the point that he was unhappy about it as such.
TODD: Tell me about his brother. What’s his brother’s name?
TODD: How old was he when this happened?
BECKY: He was almost 17. He’s 3 years younger than Branson. It’s been very difficult for him I know. He’s a very quiet guy; doesn’t share emotions real well, so…
TODD: Well, he’s a grown man now, so…
BECKY: And he still doesn’t share, I’ll tell you.
BECKY: But he’s a good man.
TODD: Does he have a family of his own now?
TODD: Not yet.
BECKY: He hasn’t married yet. Lives on his own, but not married yet.
TODD: Well, you know, I know you said he doesn’t share how he feels about things, but does he…you know there are lots of things you can do. Is this something he seems interested in pursuing?
BECKY: He likes to work. He’s into construction and he does repairs on homes and stuff like that. He works mostly all the time. I think it’s a way to hide his emotions sometimes, but sometimes that’s good therapy too.
TODD: Yeah, a lot of people will either throw themselves 100% into something, or just almost completely removed themselves from the situation.
BECKY: That’s right.
TODD: Everybody’s got their own defense mechanisms. Well, what about his father?
BECKY: His father passed away in 2004.
TODD: Okay, I think I had read that, that he had passed away. So, how did he deal with it up until that point in time?
BECKY: Not very well. I mean, Bob had a lot of medical conditions, mental conditions, and it seemed to magnify those, as you can imagine.
TODD: Well, I can think of anything worse to happen to somebody, than to not know where their child is. I’ve said that countless times; I just can’t imagine what it would be like, and especially if you’re already sick, it would just magnify the event.
BECKY: Very much so.
TODD: So your husband now…you’re remarried?
TODD: And about the time that you re-ignited this effort to seek out answers again, was about the time you got married.
BECKY: Well, actually, it kind of started…in 2003, the investigation turned from the Skidmore area primarily, to a man named Jack Rogers…
TODD: Uh huh.
BECKY: …from Fulton, Missouri. They had found a chat-log that implicated that he possibly kidnapped Branson, tortured him, mutilated him and killed him. And so they were investigating that very strong lead. Then, about a year ago, I did get a call from Sgt. Merrill and he had made the comment that, even though they had not totally ruled out Rogers in the case, that they had come up with some new leads from the Skidmore area and that they had turned the investigation back towards there. So that’s kind of what sparked me. The billboard is something that I wanted done for a long time. I just didn’t know how to go about getting them done, or the process I needed to do or anything. So I started doing some research and found an awesome company that did a wonderful job and gave me a huge discount on them and put them up so that way, the people that came and went from Skidmore, it was a daily reminder. I mean, for me, it is something that does not leave you, ever. I mean, the thought’s always there, the memories are always there, but for Skidmore, out of sight, out of mind. I don’t see, I don’t know, once in a blue moon we may talk about it, so I wanted it to be a daily constant reminder, in hopes that somebody there will either feel guilty enough to come forward, or will have their ears open at the right time and overhear something and come forward with information that may lead us to want happened that day.
TODD: Well, I’ve looked at, you know, I’ve read about the Roger’s connection in this case. He made a claim that he picked up a boy that was hitchhiking…
TODD: …and I won’t get into all details on the website, but at www.bransonperry.com in the news section, the listeners can go there and look at this, you know, some of the things that revolved around this man.
TODD: It was quite intense, some of the things now.
BECKY: He’s a horrible man. I read the chat-logs. It’s unbelievable that anybody could possibly do the things that he claimed to have done, do the things that he was charged with doing, let alone even think it. I just can’t conceive that there are really people like that out there.
TODD: Well, and even to say these things is just ridiculous, let alone do them, you know, this is pretty intense. So did they ever find any evidence that he was ever actually guilty of these things?
BECKY: They claim to have found a necklace that Bob had identified as being that of Bransons’s. It was…Branson was into rock hunting; he loved Indian artifacts and anything like that, and any chance he got, he would go out hunting them. Apparently he had a leather necklace that had an arrowhead on it, and that’s what they had found in Roger’s possession, and Bob had identified it as having belonged to Branson. It wasn’t something I could identify because I had never seen Branson with it. They said that they had checked it for DNA and were not able to come with any of Branson’s.
TODD: Now he (Jack Rogers) was primarily involved in child pornography and that type of thing.
BECKY: Yes. And Branson was not one to hitchhike so, to me, I just have a very hard time believing that that did happen, or maybe I’m in denial, I don’t know. I don’t want to believe that that’s what…
TODD: So that guy, he’s out now, from the other things he was accused of?
BECKY: Oh no, he did go to jail. He is currently serving 30 years without a chance of parole right now for the pornography charges and for gender nullification.
TODD: So he’s in the federal prison for the possession of child pornography, basically?
BECKY: Yeah, and performing sex operations on guys, yeah.
TODD: Now, how do you get away with something like that?
BECKY: I don’t know. I don’t know how desperate people can be to go a motel room and let him perform that kind of operation, I don’t know. But I was at the trial, I heard the testimony. I went to all of them that I knew were going on that involved him, just in hopes that some kind of feeling would come, some kind of something would come that would say, “Yeah, this is what may or did happen” but it just never felt right. It was a very grueling time to be there.
TODD: So do you feel like there’s still a possibility that he’s connected to this?
BECKY: There’s always that possibility, but I still believe that the answers are more in the Skidmore area. Skidmore is pretty notorious for keeping secrets sometimes, and I don’t know, but I lived there for 17 years and I know that while I lived there, everybody knew everybody else’s business, everybody knew what went on around them, so I cannot help but think that somebody there knows what happened.
TODD: It’s just like the little town I live in; you can almost go to sleep at night with your doors unlocked.
BECKY: I always thought it was.
BECKY: I mean, we always did; you never locked your doors.
TODD: I remember being younger, you know I’m 37 now, but I remember just having the storm door latched at night and that’s it.
BECKY: We didn’t even do that. No hook on the screen, no latch on the doors, leave in the day, leave at night, it didn’t matter; you just left the doors unlocked. Nobody bothered anything. I never worried about anything.
TODD: So had you, you know I know you see the news, and before this happened, what did you think about missing persons’ cases before this happened? Did it just seem like something distant, or…? Because this is like a nightmare come true. How did you see it in the past, before then? Is this something that you didn’t think would happen to you?
BECKY: You always hear about them and your heart drops and you feel such empathy and compassion for the individuals that are going through it…
TODD: Uh huh.
BECKY: …but it’s nothing compared to living it. I used to always say, you know somebody would tell you something and you would say, “I know exactly how you feel,” well, unless you have been in their shoes, you don’t know how they feel. You don’t know what’s going on. And I mean that about anything, anything that you say, “I know how you feel,” don’t say it because you don’t.
TODD: Not until you’ve been there.
BECKY: This is a hundred-fold times that kind of a feeling, but I often think about that, that that’s how I used to reply to things, but not any more.
TODD: So that’s just changed the way you perceive a lot of different things now.
TODD: So you work every day. What do you work at?
BECKY: I work actually at Heart of America United Way. I’m a computer administrator.
TODD: Wow, that’s kind of handy; you kind of know what to do then, don’t you?
BECKY: Well, I work on the machines, that’s what I was going to school for when Branson disappeared. When I got a divorce, I needed to change my career path. Up to that point in time, I had ran a greenhouse with my husband and that’s pretty much all I knew, unless I wanted to wait tables or work in a factory, and I knew that that wasn’t the kind of life I wanted, so when we got a divorce, I went back to school and I guess, in one sense, Branson’s disappearance…your comment earlier about we dive into something headstrong and focus everything we’ve got, and that’s what I wound up doing. That’s what, I guess, got me through.
TODD: You kept your mind occupied then.
BECKY: Yeah, for 6 months, I pretty much shut down my life. I did take a leave of absence from school, then when my loans were either going to start becoming delinquent…
TODD: Uh huh.
BECKY: …or I guess I decided, “Okay, get your act together. Life does go one. You’ve got to continue to live.” And so I just dove into my school work and gave it everything I’ve got, and now I am where I am right now.
TODD: How was that first day back to school?
BECKY: Not just the first day, it was…you still go through a daze…
TODD: Uh huh.
BECKY: …for I would say, a good 2 years. It got to the point where I did not enjoy or feel comfortable going anywhere by myself for any length of time because, you would just wake up all of a sudden, even though you weren’t really asleep, and “Where am I?” and “What am I doing?” I remember going shopping and getting up to the cash register, and I’ve got stuff in my cart, that I would never in a million years buy, but it was full of stuff that I had no idea where they came from.
TODD: So you were just walking around in a daze almost, at times?
BECKY: Much of the time, yes.
TODD: Now, how did this affect your relationship with your other son? You know, we talked about him earlier in the show, but this probably made you more of a protective person. Or did it?
BECKY: During this time, he spent more time with his Dad…
TODD: Uh huh.
BECKY: …than he did with me, because of Bob’s health…
TODD: Uh huh.
BECKY: …and he was worried about what may happen. I mean, he became like a little caretaker, in a sense, and so he spent a lot of time with his Dad. During summer, he lived with his Dad, then he came back to finish school, and most every evening…in fact, I saw very little of him because I was going to school while he going to school, and then I had to work, and so he would usually go and spend the evenings with his Dad and come back for the next day of school again.
TODD: Does that make you afraid for him? Do you think about the period of time that goes in between times that you talk to him?
BECKY: Do I fear for his safety?
TODD: Safety and, you know, can it happen again?
BECKY: That’s a thought that’s always with me now. I used to never be afraid of people. I loved people, but now I look at people with a skepticism that you don’t know what’s behind the person that you’re seeing anymore.
BECKY: That’s probably the biggest thing that I hate.
TODD: Wondering what’s behind that face, right?
BECKY: Yeah. You fear for what may happen. You fear, for whatever reason, that you may lose that son too, or lose another family member.
TODD: So, do you walk around town, now do you see people and you think, “What do they know?” if you see people looking at you?
BECKY: Yeah, I find it very difficult to go, especially to Skidmore, for that reason, because I feel that whomever I run into, that they know something, but yet they won’t tell me, or they won’t tell the police. Whether it’s a rumor they heard, I don’t care, rumors sometimes are not rumors.
TODD: So you’re willing to just pick up just about anything that you can get a hold of with that?
TODD: You just practically just began a new life, I guess, because everything changed.
BECKY: Everything changed, and in the blink of an eye. One minute you think that everything is fine. You think that, you know, that you’ve got the world by the horns and you’re ready to tackle anything new that comes your way now, and in the next minute, in the blink of an eye, it’s gone. You have no control. You have no guarantees.
TODD: Well I read what you wrote, “So much sadness and pain, yet I have to continue to believe that everything happens for a reason. Only God has those answers and I will never be able to understand.”
BECKY: That’s probably what keeps me going each day. When it gets to the point that I just can’t take it anymore, then I’ve got to say, “You know, there’s got to be a reason.” In my whole life, there has always been a reason, even though I could never see it then, I look down the road, and look back behind me, and I say, “Ha, now I know why that happened.” I didn’t understand it then, I didn’t like it then, but I know now why, because there’s always a reason and there is a plan. But then I have a hard time believing that God would allow these things to happen, you know. I find that very difficult, so it’s a constant battle with faith sometimes.
TODD: I remember that you talked about triggers, too. Things that bring it back to you. I know sometimes you can almost get caught up in, you know, life itself, but there’s always something, and I read where you wrote about, “as simple as a smell, a taste, a sound or a touch.” Can you describe that a little bit?
BECKY: I went to…Branson is not a common name, right? I know there’s a town in Missouri called Branson, outside of that I don’t know of too many individuals named Branson, but I went to Dallas, Texas, actually it’s Houston, Texas, I’m sorry, it’s been about 3 years ago; my car needed some repairs so I pulled into a car shop, and there was a lady standing up at the counter talking to the gentleman behind it, and saying something about that she needed to get her car fixed because she was headed to Branson. Out of the clear blue, in a backstreet car place, and we hear the name Branson.
TODD: Uh huh.
BECKY: We drive down the highway headed to Colorado, I think, at the time, and drive past a van and in its window it’s got ‘Branson or Bust.’ You see somebody walking down the highway, not necessarily hitchhiking, but walking along the highway, they’ve got blond hair and the build of Branson, and you immediately think, “It’s my son,” and it’s not. And it’s just little things like that all the time. ‘Guns N’ Roses’ the band, I don’t really know them, but that was his favorite band, I get to talking to a guy, and he makes the comment about ‘Guns N’ Roses’ that they’re working on a song that they played, and I’m thinking, “Out of the clear blue, why are you telling me this?” It’s just little, little things all throughout the day, or the week, or the month, or the year.
TODD: Now, about looking for him, what did you do? You know, I know you had the online search, where you posted on the Internet, and the billboards, you talked to the police, you’ve done everything that you could possibly do. What about physically looking for him?
BECKY: We put up posters…
TODD: Uh huh.
BECKY: …in many of the various towns. I’ve contacted many of the newspapers in the area to try to get them to do stories; some did, some didn’t. Now I’ve got an individual, bless her heart, Linda, who has spearheaded a campaign of all kinds, trying to get the media attention out about Branson. She’s probably the biggest motivator that I’ve got for searching again. In fact, I think she’s the ultimately contacted your organization and got this set up for me. She has been an angel, in a sense.
TODD: Why? Why would she do that? Did you know her before?
BECKY: I’ve never…I have yet to meet her. She lives in North Missouri. She just has taken it upon herself to try to do all that she can to help find him.
TODD: You know you’re in the worst pain of your life with this particular event that’s happened to you, you know there’s just no way to describe it. Why would anybody want to share that, and have to endure that along with you?
BECKY: I don’t know. That’s why I say that she’s got to be an angel. I mean, I don’t know. There’s a reason.
TODD: Sounds like she’s brought you a lot of comfort.
BECKY: Yeah, she really has. She built one website of Branson’s, the other website, the one www.branson.4ourangel.com was built by another individual several years ago, shortly after Branson disappeared, and she has been a lot of comfort to me. Linda has done an incredible amount of footwork and searching. I can’t deal with it. I can’t do that.
TODD: It’s funny the things that bring you together with somebody like that, that has become…it sounds like she’s closer than family, in a sense, but you’ve never met her.
BECKY: In a sense, yeah. Yeah.
TODD: It’s kind of crazy, isn’t it?
BECKY: Family is wonderful, but family doesn’t like to talk about the situation, you know? They don’t want to bring it up because it causes pain, and so it’s like, many times it’s like, “Let’s not talk about it. Let’s pretend in never happened. Pretend he never existed.” And sometimes that’s worse than being able to talk about it.
TODD: Well now, when Linda first contacted you, how did you first hear from her?
BECKY: She had emailed me. I’m not even sure now how she got my email. I don’t know if it was the ‘Truth of Fiction’ website, or what for sure, but she had emailed me stating that she helped locate another missing individual that was found in Northwest Missouri, and that she had heard about my son’s case and wanted to offer her help in helping me locate him. And it just kind of started from there and the next thing I knew she had newspapers calling me to do an interview, and television shows calling me to do an interview, and had posted his picture on a multitude of websites.
TODD: It’s easier to have somebody that’s willing to take on that job and help you, and advocate for you, and point out things on your behalf because it’s hard just doing what you’ve got to do. Just existing, I know is difficult for you, so I know it’s just been a Godsend for you to have her to help you set these things up.
BECKY: Very much so.
TODD: Now when you do something like what we’re doing tonight, an interview or anything, a newspaper interview, television interview, radio interview, how does that feel to have to do that? Is it painful to do this type of thing, or do you feel like you’re making some progress?
BECKY: In a sense, I feel I’m making progress. I’m hoping that somewhere, some way, somebody will…it’ll trigger something, it’ll stick in the back of their mind until they may hear something. But at the same time, I’m a very quiet person. I mean I don’t share a lot, unfortunately, sometimes, and so it’s very difficult for me to do it, and my emotions, my nerves, it drains me to the point that I…I don’t know how to describe it. It’s very nerve-wracking for me.
TODD: And you are nervous, you’re nervous tonight even? When we began this conversation, you admitted that you were nervous.
TODD: Well, but you go ahead and do it anyway.
BECKY: You do it anyway, because you know it has to be done. You know that if you don’t, then you might as well not even try to remind anybody that it happened. You might as well let it rest and so, no, you have to do it.
TODD: You have to keep going forward
BECKY: Yes, sir.
TODD: Now the possibility that he’s not alive, I know it’s crossed your mind. I know that that’s what you’ve got to think about, whether he’s alive, or just gone, or what state of mind they’re in, you know, there are so many different things that can cause something like this to happen. What have they done for you as far as DNA? Have you actually submitting DNA for the DNA database?
BECKY: Yes, in fact, when Rogers was part of the active investigation.
TODD: To the DNA database?
BECKY: Yes. When Rogers’s case was being investigated, they had asked to get DNA from both Bob and I, and we both submitted it, so I know they have our DNA. Whether it was ever entered into CODIS, I don’t know that. Sometimes I wonder; I think of things like that and I wonder if it was a family member of a police officer…
TODD: Uh huh.
BECKY: …how would they handle the case? How would they investigate it? Would they put more effort into finding one of their own, than they do somebody else, you know? I know that their manpower is limited. I know that it’s restricted. And I know that they’ve followed up and many, many, many leads, but you always wonder if there could have been more.
TODD: Now how do you just stop, you know? That’s important. Well, there is a new national DNA database, it’s a little more extensive than what you’ve probably dealt with in the past, and I think that’s something I can connect you to after the show tonight. I’ll probably give you that information so that you can just make a call, and I think they’ll probably make a call on your behalf to help hook you up with the people you need to talk to, and they’ll make contact with law enforcement, probably, in your area.
BECKY: Uh huh.
TODD: It’s definitely something that you’ve got to keep going. You just can’t stop.
TODD: Well, I’m probably going to get to one of the most difficult questions on the night, and I told you that I’d probably ask you this. If he’s alive and well, or alive out there, and you could say something to him, what would you say to him? And take your time. It’s between you and him, wherever he’s at.
BECKY: I just want you to know, Branson, that I love you, and that I miss you so very much. We all miss you. We…our lives pretty much stopped that day. I want you to know that wherever you are, that you can come home. Please come home. I lived in Grandma Alice’s house now, so I’m pretty easy to find. I just want you to know that it doesn’t matter what has happened, you are always, always, always welcome. I just want to know that you’re okay. And if you’re okay and you’re happy, then that’s all I want. I just want to know that.
TODD: I appreciate you doing that. That’s hard, but I think it’s a reality that people need to hear and, hopefully, no matter where or what…
BECKY: That I’ve got to keep believing that he is okay.
BECKY: That’s the thing that gets me through the really rough ones; that he’s still going to be okay, that he’s still going to come home.
TODD: Well, no matter what the event, you can’t stop, you know, whether he’s with us or not with us, you’ve still got a lot of work to do. You have to do what you can to bring him home, and hopefully you’ll meet a lot of people that will help you do that, and hopefully I can give you some information to help make that a little easier. I’m pretty sure we can do that anyway.
TODD: What about your husband now? How is he for support?
BECKY: He is wonderful, wonderful support.
TODD: I spoke to him last night briefly, and he seemed excited that you had an opportunity.
BECKY: Yes. He’s behind me 100% in whatever I feel I need to do, he’s there. He’s there to pick me up when I fall to pieces. He’s an awesome, awesome man. God blessed me with that.
TODD: You needed somebody it sounds like, and you’ve got somebody.
BECKY: Yeah. He’s my strength.
TODD: Well, I’m going to say goodnight to our guests, but I want to keep you on the phone after we tell everybody goodnight; I’ve got a couple of things I want to talk to you about. And we’ll say goodnight, we’ll cut the tape and we’ll move onto a couple of suggestions I have for you.
BECKY: I do want to say, thank you very, very much for your time. Thank you for your show. It is unbelievable what you do to help us. Thank you.
TODD: I appreciate it, you saying that. This is a simple thing but I wanted people to see that, even though it’s a very simple effort, it’s put together very simply, but it doesn’t matter, you’ve got to do something.
BECKY: It doesn’t matter, and it’s helped, it’s helped tremendously. Thank you.
TODD: I appreciate that, and we will not give up. This is just the beginning. It’s not like another show, you’ve not gotten to the end of the line and it’s over with, this is the beginning of our relationship, so hopefully we’ll know each other for a good many years.
BECKY: I hope so too.
TODD: Well, we’ll definitely stick together. We’ll say goodnight to our listeners, and then we’ll talk a few minutes.
TODD: Goodnight everybody, and thanks for listening.
Full Name: Branson Kayne Perry
Date Missing: April 11, 2001
Date of Birth: February 24, 1981
Height: 5' 9"
Weight: 155 lbs
Build: Normal to slightly thin.
Scars: Small, faint scar on upper right cheek. Small scar on left knee.
Dental: Several fillings and wisdom teeth had been removed.
Medical Conditions: Racing heart condition and allergic to Penicillin
Clothing/Jewelry/Piercings: T-shirt (Size: M/L), Shorts (Size: 32 waist), Sometimes wore necklaces and/or leather trinkets or chains with arrowheads on them. No body piercings.
Last Known Location: Last seen at his home at 304 West Oak Street, Skidmore, MO
Agency Case # 010201
If you have any information on this case
Please use click this link below: