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  1. #1
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    CA - Laura Bradbury, 3, Joshua Tree, Oct 1984

    Toddler Laura Bradbury went missing from a campsite in Joshua Tree, California in October of 1984. My little cousin went to the same preschool as her in Costa Mesa, CA, at around the same time. This case broke when I was in my teens. It traumatized me greatly. In fact, I saved a picture of her and a tiny newspaper clipping about her case from the time it happened and I have it somewhere still!!! She was so adorable! It was my first experience hearing about a child who went missing and was never found. I think the impression her case made on me as a teen girl was so strong that it lead to a lifelong concern for the prevention of crimes against children. Over the years I have thought about Laura now and then. It has been hard to remember everything but I remember that for several years her family became pretty quiet about the case, primarily because her mom was too heartbroken to speak about it. But I found a couple posts from her dad recently on another site. He tirelessly searched for his daughter. It was awful. He has a website devoted to Laura now which gives a lot of detail:

    www.laurabradburyhome.com

    This case is a weird one filled with good potential suspects, possible cover-ups and an area controlled by drug dealers and addicts who may have prevented the case from being solved. A few people who gave the police tips were actually found dead/murdered after they did so. I have always wondered why this case has not gotten much attention. Little Laura seemed so precious. It would be so nice for her family to finally be able to find out what happened to their little girl.

  2. #2
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    Wait a minute. I vaguely recall watching a television show about missing children when I was a kid in the 80s, and Laura's case was featured. Wasn't she a cousin or something to Ricky Schroder? I recall that Laura was wearing something odd, like a tutu maybe, and she walked right past her family's campsite, hidden by the tall grass.

    But didn't they find human remains and some toys not far from where she was abducted? I thought the remains were proven to be Laura's, that she had been taken and murdered right there in Joshua Tree Park.

    I could be totally wrong. I'm going by information I remember from a TV show I saw more than 20 years ago.

  3. #3
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    I think you are close Mr. E.. Rick Shroeder is a cousin by marriage of Laura according to recent statements by Laura's dad. Also, some remains were supposedly found by two hikers, which were determined by LE to be Laura's. But there is a debate about that. According to Mr. Bradbury, a sheriff asked Mr. and Mrs. Bradbury for some blood samples. He then put them in his pocket, which seemed strange. Not the usual way LE would handle evidence. It was very shortly after that a skull fragment was found that the police claimed was Laura's. However, a forensic expert the Bradbury's asked to examine the skull fragment stated that there was no way to conclusively prove it was Laura's or even what race or gender the fragment belonged to. You have to check out the laurabradburyhome website. It is very interesting although there do seem to be some formatting issues. I also do recall something years ago in the news about children's pajamas and/or diapers found in a cabin, I believe, somewhere around there or in the mountains, that may have been connected to Laura's disappearance. But if true, such a find would seem to disprove what I think LE may have tried to infer with the skull fragment which is that Laura just wandered away and died. What is interesting about this story is the huge amount of control the druggy population seemed to exert over the area at the time and how LE seemed cowed by them. There were alot of scary things happening there at the time. What is also interesting is that there was at least one grand jury that was apparently scheduled to question several officers involved in the investigation but no reason for the grand jury was given and I don't know if it ever occurred at all. This is case that is not dead, IMO. That's because even a few days ago new people were coming forward on the internet to say that had evidence about a suspect but were afraid to talk for years.
    In any event, even if the child was taken and killed right there in the park, her family still deserves to know by whom and why. If the child is dead, someone has been getting away with murder for far too long!!

  4. #4
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    I wonder what happened with this case. I cant find any updates.

  5. #5
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    There are posts from Laura's dad on the Unsolved Mysteries board:

    The disappearance and death of Laura Bradbury - Sitcoms Online Message Boards
    Last edited by KateB; 04-26-2015 at 11:19 AM. Reason: repair url tag.

  6. #6
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    webpage no longer working and can't come up with anything but websleuths and a couple more similar boards when searching
    Find Brian Shaffer!!
    www.findbrianshaffer.com


    Janet Christiansen, Kaiden, and Family, justice WILL prevail!

    JUSTICE FOR AMBER!

    ~*Cancel my subscription, I'm THROUGH with your issues*~

  7. #7
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    Looks like this is an updated site.

    http://laurabradburymissing.com/Page7.html
    ~JMO~

    A grandfather is someone with silver in his hair and gold in his heart. ~Author Unknown


    Long Lost Love - Discovery ID - Disappeared - Bob Harrod Case

    You can now purchase Mr. Harrod's Disappeared episode through Amazon, iTunes or YouTube.

  8. #8
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    This poor family. Here is the lastest that has been posted on the site:

    http://laurabradburymissing.com/Page8.html

    "October 2009 Mike Bradbury contacts a local mortuary (Harbor Lawn Mt. Olive
    Mortuary) to have the remains transferred for burial. Mortuary discovers there is no
    registered "state death certificate" and cannot transfer remains. Coroners office
    apologizes, and tries to set in motion new death certificate papers.

    November 2009 Mike Bradbury is informed the papers are filled out and will be
    processed through the courts asap, but it may take up to 3 months.

    February 2010 Mike Bradbury is notified that the papers are just now being processed
    and it will be at least another 2-3 months before a Death Certificate can be produced.

    February 18-22, 2010 Mike Bradbury is told that two glaring errors in the1988 DNA
    report, used by the SBSO Coroners office to determine identification, may likely
    negate the new Death Certificate, if it is ever produced, and that a new modern DNA
    test must be performed first to determine if in fact the skull cap is that of Laura
    Bradbury. This could take as long as 6 months to a year.

    February 22, 2010 Mike Bradbury requests a new DNA test be done as soon as
    possible . In order for DNA testing for ID to be processed (which is done by the State
    of California’s Department of Justice, Missing Persons DNA Program), the
    unidentified person case would need to be re-activated in NCIC, as well as the
    missing person case. Coroners office handles re-activation of the unidentified person
    case, but the Sheriff Department needs to activate the missing person investigation.
    We are waiting..."


    I really wonder if this is her remains. I would love to see the police files--especially the statements of the two gentleman who came forward to say they knew who was involved but then they were murdered... She reminds me of Anna Waters. Laura does not have a doe network file. Maybe one of the mods could email her dad to join here so we can help us get her into the various databases.
    Last edited by Julessleuther; 04-07-2010 at 12:46 AM.

  9. #9
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    An interview with Mike Bradbury (Long interview) Here's an excerpt.
    Mike: There were two people who went to the sheriffs in early 1985 telling them that they knew who took her, and where she might be. They had some physical evidence they presented to the sheriffs. Unfortunately, the sheriffs didn’t believe them, and two months later, they were kidnapped, murdered, and buried in a dry lake. Located near their bodies, a Kelly green sweatshirt just like Laura’s was discovered. But the sheriffs claimed it was not Laura’s because it had a zippered front and was too big. Laura’s did have a zippered front. And we were never shown this evidence, nor were we ever able to discover if it had even been taken into evidence. Then a few months later, another local man, reported seeing her in the presence of a woman a two men at a very isolated mine. He too was kidnapped and murdered right after going to the sheriffs. It was easy to connect the dots for anyone not involved in a cover-up. These may have been completely accurate sightings and information, we will never know.
    http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/293785

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmandaBrown23 View Post
    I wonder what happened with this case. I cant find any updates.
    I do not understand why this case is supposed to be a homicide? What if Laura walked past her campsite and I have read and I have read that the tracker found her tracks two miles from the campsite and then a mountain lion simply picked her up, they bury their prey. She would have been out of the elements and that would explain the scull not being exposed to the sun for the entire time? Then she is found five miles away because part of the way she walked and part of the way was taken by an animal? Why not? I mean this is a small child out alone in the desert at night and that is what animals do?


  11. #11
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    Jan 2008
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    @ Black Water, I thought the same thing. A 3 yo child might have seen an animal like a wolf, coyote or mountain lion and followed it. I haven't read the website yet. The LA Times is revisiting the story in an installment series. Today was part 1. There are photos and an audio slide show by the father. Heartbreaking.

  12. #12
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    2 part series

    The Mystery of Laura A father asks: 'When will this ever end?'

    Mike Bradbury is still haunted by the disappearance of his young daughter from a campsite in 1984.


    First of two parts —
    Mike Bradbury felt the air cooling and saw the sun sliding into the horizon, so he hurried to put up the tent where he and his family would sleep.

    He heard his son's small voice. "I have to go to the bathroom," Travis was telling his mother, who directed him to a portable toilet nearby. Travis was 8. Padding after him, as always, was his sister Laura, 3˝.

    Much more at link

  13. #13
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    Aug 2005
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    Orange County, California
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    I have wondered about this case over the years. I Just read the article in the LA Times today. So interesting to hear about the family this many years later.
    I Live in Orange County, CA and grew up in Huntington Beach, I think I was in the third grade when this happened. It was really a big deal in the community. All the kids in the neighborhood was talking about it.
    I'm happy to see the case being revisited, if for no other reason to remember the sweet little girl who was taken from her family.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Water View Post
    I do not understand why this case is supposed to be a homicide? What if Laura walked past her campsite and I have read and I have read that the tracker found her tracks two miles from the campsite and then a mountain lion simply picked her up, they bury their prey. She would have been out of the elements and that would explain the scull not being exposed to the sun for the entire time? Then she is found five miles away because part of the way she walked and part of the way was taken by an animal? Why not? I mean this is a small child out alone in the desert at night and that is what animals do?
    The things pointing to it not being a predator include that her tracks veered from the portable toilet, where her brother was, back to the campsite but then suddenly to a different direction, directly to the road, where her scent and tracks disappeared. If she was picked up by an animal, one, someone would be more likely to have heard her scream, since animals don't have hands that can cover mouths, and two, her scent would still be present. It seems she was taken into a vehicle. Three, no large animal tracks were found in the area that I know of.
    For Travis Alexander, a human being.


    *Gitana (means "Gypsy girl"). Pronounced "hee tah nah."

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBean View Post
    The Mystery of Laura A father asks: 'When will this ever end?'

    Mike Bradbury is still haunted by the disappearance of his young daughter from a campsite in 1984.


    First of two parts —
    Mike Bradbury felt the air cooling and saw the sun sliding into the horizon, so he hurried to put up the tent where he and his family would sleep.

    He heard his son's small voice. "I have to go to the bathroom," Travis was telling his mother, who directed him to a portable toilet nearby. Travis was 8. Padding after him, as always, was his sister Laura, 3˝.

    Much more at link
    Quote Originally Posted by momtolil View Post
    I have wondered about this case over the years. I Just read the article in the LA Times today. So interesting to hear about the family this many years later.
    I Live in Orange County, CA and grew up in Huntington Beach, I think I was in the third grade when this happened. It was really a big deal in the community. All the kids in the neighborhood was talking about it.
    I'm happy to see the case being revisited, if for no other reason to remember the sweet little girl who was taken from her family.
    I was going to post about the two part article. Thank you guys! I'm with you momtolil. I grew up in the area as well and my cousin went to her preschool. I never forgot Laura or her case. I'm very happy that the LA Times is profiling it. Maybe it will generate new leads somehow. I really feel for the family. They were savaged by their child's disappearance. They deserve to know what happened.
    For Travis Alexander, a human being.


    *Gitana (means "Gypsy girl"). Pronounced "hee tah nah."

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