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  1. #1
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    VA - Melissa Brannen, 5, Lorton, 3 Dec 1989 *C. Hughes guilty*

    This case is so eerie. Melissa Brannen, 5, seemingly vanishes into thin air at a Christmas party in front of tons of people and despite a suspect being questioned and arrested, they never locate a body. Two decades have now come and gone and her case is still cold.

    I did a google search for Melissa Brannen and came accross this:

    http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?ui...292&topic=6528

    It seems there is a young woman named 'Alexis' out there who believes she may be Melissa. What is everyone's opinion on this? Was this a hoax? I just wish this girl could be found once and for all and put an end to this lurid mystery.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rustysmom View Post
    This case is so eerie. Melissa Brannen, 5, seemingly vanishes into thin air at a Christmas party in front of tons of people and despite a suspect being questioned and arrested, they never locate a body. Two decades have now come and gone and her case is still cold.

    I did a google search for Melissa Brannen and came accross this:

    http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?ui...292&topic=6528

    It seems there is a young woman named 'Alexis' out there who believes she may be Melissa. What is everyone's opinion on this? Was this a hoax? I just wish this girl could be found once and for all and put an end to this lurid mystery.
    rusty's mom, i think, as you know, since jaycee was found after a slightly shorter time then this, anything is possible.
    im just wondering if the familly had a dna test run and it came back negative, and that's why there's a commeent on thsre saying 'leave micheal and his family alone' to whover ran this article.
    whatever the case is, i dont think she was pulling a hoax. i think she believed it was possible, she's had a rough life and honestly, with the things she was told/heard herself, i could see why she might think she is melissa, or another missing child.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rustysmom View Post
    This case is so eerie. Melissa Brannen, 5, seemingly vanishes into thin air at a Christmas party in front of tons of people and despite a suspect being questioned and arrested, they never locate a body. Two decades have now come and gone and her case is still cold.

    I did a google search for Melissa Brannen and came accross this:

    http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?ui...292&topic=6528

    It seems there is a young woman named 'Alexis' out there who believes she may be Melissa. What is everyone's opinion on this? Was this a hoax? I just wish this girl could be found once and for all and put an end to this lurid mystery.
    LE does not believe she is Melissa. We actually had some of the young woman's supporters posting with us last year, but there are still some steps for her to take before she can be ruled out as being biologically related to the family she was raised by....I am not sure where she is in that process.

    Melissa's family is active on the Internet and I would hate for all of this to start up for them again-her mother has suffered terribly through the years with a number of leads like this one... Melissa's killer was successfully prosecuted for her kidnapping and death. I spoke with the detectives who handled the case and who have it now-Melissa's DNA was in the kidnapper's vehicle. And her hair and rabbit fur from her coat. There is not a doubt in their minds that Melissa is deceased.

    Tiffany/Alexis may well be a missing child-my heart goes out to her in her quest to find out!!!!
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by believe09 View Post
    LE does not believe she is Melissa. We actually had some of the young woman's supporters posting with us last year, but there are still some steps for her to take before she can be ruled out as being biologically related to the family she was raised by....I am not sure where she is in that process.

    Melissa's family is active on the Internet and I would hate for all of this to start up for them again-her mother has suffered terribly through the years with a number of leads like this one... Melissa's killer was successfully prosecuted for her kidnapping and death. I spoke with the detectives who handled the case and who have it now-Melissa's DNA was in the kidnapper's vehicle. And her hair and rabbit fur from her coat. There is not a doubt in their minds that Melissa is deceased.

    Tiffany/Alexis may well be a missing child-my heart goes out to her in her quest to find out!!!!
    i agree. i think alexis might actually be another missing child.
    do you know for sure though, if her dna was run against melissas?

  5. #5
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    Interesting, if you read the second to last post on the fb thread someone named Bruce wrote;
    What I would like to know is why is this facebook page still up and running. The Brannen family asked you thru me 6 months ago to shut it down. Now please do shut it down and stop pestering Michael and his family.

    The fb thread is part of the Washington Post's face book but the person (Amy) who wrote the thread and info about Alexis does not appear to be a writer for them. She said in the last thread that she was suprised that the Washington Post had it on there.
    Last edited by Sleuthster; 01-22-2010 at 06:29 PM.
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  6. #6
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    There was someone convicted in her abduction

    www.doenetwork.org/cases/159dfva.html


    Melissa Lee Brannen
    Missing since December 3, 1989 from Lorton, Fairfax County, Virginia.
    Classification: Non-Family Abduction

    Vital Statistics Date Of Birth: April 13, 1984
    Age at Time of Disappearance: 5 years old
    Height and Weight at Time of Disappearance: 3'0; 38 pounds
    Distinguishing Characteristics: White female. Light brown hair; blue eyes.
    Marks, Scars: A burn scar on her right forearm.
    Clothing: A navy blue sweater with a yellow Big Bird applique; a blue and red plaid skirt; red tights; black patent leather shoes with gold bows; and a pink hooded jacket.

    Circumstances of Disappearances
    Brannen was last seen during a holiday party at the Woodside Apartment Clubhouse in Lorton, Virginia on December 3, 1989.
    She lived with her mother in the apartment complex at the time. She disappeared from the festivities and has never been seen again.
    Caleb D. Hughes was developed as a suspect within hours of the abduction. Hughes was employed as a groundskeeper at Woodside Apartments at the time of Brannen's disappearance. The Federal Bureau Of Investigation (FBI) examined blood and fiber evidence from Hughes' vehicle in the weeks following Brannen's disappearance. He was convicted of abducting Brannen in 1991 and sentenced to 50 years in prison. Melissa has never been found.

    Investigators
    If you have any information concerning Brannen's whereabouts or the circumstances surrounding her disappearance, please contact:
    Fairfax County Sheriff's Department
    Lt. John DeMaria
    703-246-7800

    OR
    703-2456-7890

    You may remain anonymous when submitting information.
    NCMEC #:
    NCMC732677

    NCIC Number:
    M-395923188
    Please refer to this number when contacting any agency with information regarding this case. Source Information:
    The National Center For Missing and Exploited Children
    Cindi Lou


    Some people may consider me crazy, I say I'm just inspired.

  7. #7
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    Snufamonbobball is offline But O for the touch of the vanished hand & the sound of the voice that is still.
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    There is a Forensic Files episode and an FBI Files episode about Melissa Brannen. The Forensic Files title is Innocence Lost, it aired in 2005. The FBI files episode is available on youtube.
    The more I get to know some people, the more I like my cats!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by kbl8201 View Post
    i agree. i think alexis might actually be another missing child.
    do you know for sure though, if her dna was run against melissas?
    Her dna has to be run against her own family before anyone will revisit running it against the Brannen's. Which I think is fair given that there is a perp who was convicted and LE believes 100% that she is deceased.
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  9. #9
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    Previous Websleuths Thread on Melissa

    Back in 2005, I had started a thread here in Cold Cases on Melissa Brannen's disappearance. It was one which received a lot of hits and replies. It seems to have disappeared for some reason. I was able, however, to find a similar posting that I had made to the Children missing in America section of Websleuths. Here it is with an updated link:

    -----------------------------------------------------

    Melissa Lee Brannen Missing since 3 Dec 1989 from Lorton, VA
    Melissa Lee Brannen Missing since December 3, 1989 from Lorton, VA

    Melissa Lee Brannen
    Missing since December 3, 1989 from Lorton, Fairfax County, Virginia.
    Classification: Non-Family Abduction
    Vital Statistics

    Date Of Birth: April 13, 1984
    Age at Time of Disappearance: 5 years old
    Height and Weight at Time of Disappearance: 3'0; 38 pounds
    Distinguishing Characteristics: White female. Light brown hair; blue eyes.
    Marks, Scars: A burn scar on her right forearm.
    Clothing: A navy blue sweater with a yellow Big Bird applique; a blue and red plaid skirt; red tights; black patent leather shoes with gold bows; and a pink hooded jacket.

    Circumstances of Disappearance

    Melissa Lee Brannen was last seen during a holiday party at the Woodside Apartment Clubhouse in Lorton, Virginia on December 3, 1989. Her family resided in the apartment complex at the time. She disappeared from the festivities and has never been seen again.

    Caleb D. Hughes was developed as a suspect within hours of the abduction. Hughes was employed as a groundskeeper at Woodside Apartments at the time of Brannen's disappearance. The Federal Bureau Of Investigation (FBI) examined blood and fiber evidence from Hughes' vehicle in the weeks following Brannen's disappearance. He was convicted of abducting Brannen with the intent to defile in 1991.

    Two other men were convicted of attempting to extort ransom momey from Brannen's mother shortly after her daughter's disappearance. The individuals were not connected to her actual abduction.

    If you have any information concerning Brannen's whereabouts or the circumstances surrounding her disappearance, please contact:

    Fairfax County Sheriff's Department , Lt. John DeMaria , 703-246-7800 OR
    703-2456-7890

    NCIC Number: M-395923188
    The Doe Network: Case File 159DFVA

    Source Information:
    The National Center For Missing and Exploited Children

    Link:

    http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/159dfva.html

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by believe09 View Post
    Her dna has to be run against her own family before anyone will revisit running it against the Brannen's. Which I think is fair given that there is a perp who was convicted and LE believes 100% that she is deceased.
    ok thanks for claryifying that.
    either way i hope alexis finds out who she really is.


  11. #11
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    I think the thread went away because there was a whole lot of bickering regarding Alexis' quest. I posted on that thread for quite a while and appreciate you bringing back that bit of original data, Richard!!
    email me


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  12. #12
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    I just wanted clarification on this....intent of defile means intent to destroy, right? Was he ever actually convicted of murdering her?

  13. #13
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    "Defile" means to corrupt, make impure or remove the purity or chastity of....From what I've read, "abduction with intent to defile" is wording for a kidnapping conducted for the purpose of committing sexual assault.
    From the Doe Network entries it appears the conviction was based on the abduction, not murder.
    I can only assume the DA involved felt there was insufficient evidence to support a murder charge and went for the more assured conviction.
    Last edited by shadowangel; 01-27-2010 at 07:12 PM.

  14. #14
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    I re-watched the FBI Files episode about Melissa's abduction on Youtube. This case is so disturbing to me; I wish that Caleb Hughes or whatever his name was would have just confessed as to what he did with her body; it seems to me he isn't going anywhere anytime soon as he was sentanced to 50 years in prison. What an evil, sick person he is

    I would pray that somehow she is still alive, but based on evidence gathered by LE, it seems more than likely she isn't. I feel so sorry for her mother. No child deserves anything like that.

  15. #15
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    Does this mean that if say, they do find her body (here's to hoping she's alive though). Can they charge Hughes with her murder?

    Sidenote - I saw the Forensic Files episode when I was about 12 or so. It made me decide to be a lab tech working on crime evidence. This case will always be important to me.

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