GA GA - Brandon Helms, 42, Lakeland, 14 Dec 2015

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Brandon Lee Helms

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Case Classification: Endangered Missing
Missing Since: December 14, 2015
Location Last Seen: Lakeland, Lanier County, Georgia

Description:
  • Date of Birth: circa 1973
  • Age: 42 years old
  • Race: White/Caucasian
  • Gender: Male
  • Height: 5' 11" (71 inches)
  • Weight: 145 lbs.
  • Hair Color: Brown with receding hairline, balding on top.
  • Eye Color: Blue
  • Nickname/Alias: Unknown
  • Distinguishing Marks/Features: Thin uni-brow. Large Adam's apple. Right foot turns out when he walks. Possible scars on fingers from stitches.
  • Clothing & Personal Items: Size 8 1/2 tennis shoes. Calf length socks.
  • Jewelry & Additional Items: Carried a wallet in his back pocket. Keys for his vehicle. Sunglasses. Gold wedding band engraved with "Brandon & Misty 6/14/2003"
  • Identifiers: Unknown
Circumstances of Disappearance:
Helms went missing from Lakeland, Georgia on December 14, 2015. He was last seen leaving a friend's residence on Teeterville Road where he was staying at the time. He has never been heard from again. Helms left behind his truck, phone and cigarettes, but his wallet and truck keys were missing. Few details are available regarding his disappearance and his whereabouts remain unknown.

Investigators:
  • Lanier County Sheriff's Office: (229) 482-3545
    Reference Case#: 151223694
NCIC Case Number: N/A
NamUs Case Number: MP40507

Missing Person / NamUs #MP40507
Family continues to search for missing South Georgia man
 
Last edited:
UNSOLVED GEORGIA: Investigators re-examine case surrounding missing south Georgia father

Brandon Helms has been missing for nearly seven years. Some believe he may have committed suicide, but his body has never been found.

His disappearance from a south Georgia home in December of 2015 has torn his family apart and left them searching for answers. Now investigators say they are reactivating the case in hopes of finding out what happened and potential evidence found at the scene could help them do just that.

Tune in to watch this latest edition of ‘Unsolved Georgia’ on WCTV Eyewitness News this Thursday night at 11 p.m. for an in-depth look at what we know.
 
There is a lot at the link, I snipped some parts below.

UNSOLVED GEORGIA: Investigators re-examine case surrounding missing South Georgia father

It was a rainy Monday afternoon about ten days before Christmas in 2015 when the Sheriff’s Office was summoned to the house off Teeterville Highway.

“It was Monday about 11:15. I got a call from what was then Brandon’s wife,” recalled Gail. “She said, ‘We can’t find him. He won’t answer the phone.’”

According to Misty, Brandon could not be found after sending some disturbing text messages to his estranged wife, said Shelly.

“She said, ‘Brandon, we’ll see you Christmas morning,’ and he said,`No, you won’t. I won’t be here,’” she said, as she recalled what Misty had told her.

“They had the tracking dogs out,” recalled Roger. “They found no place that he had stepped off that property.”

The home was only visually inspected the day Brandon went missing. It was not searched forensically by a crime scene team for roughly three years, said investigators. The initial handling of the case is something that has frustrated Brandon’s family.

“Just too many unanswered questions from the start of this thing,” said Todd.

“I’m not sure at this point that we can disclose exactly what was found in the search, but there were some things of concern,” she said.

Slaughter said the agency collected several samples, which were sent out to the crime lab at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. It has been roughly four years and they are still waiting on the results.

She also had the surrounding farmland, forest, and old wells searched with cadaver dogs. A dive team was even brought in to scan nearby ponds, but it was all to no avail. Brandon was nowhere to be found.

“We have literally searched everywhere you could search around Brandon’s last location and haven’t been able to find him,” said Slaughter.

She is convinced he is not in the area.
Meanwhile, a local man who owns most of the surrounding property gave WCTV a look around. He did not want to be identified but said the farmland is methodically burned every few months. If Brandon’s body was nearby, he believes it would have been found.

The Fall will mark seven years since Brandon disappeared and there are still no answers for Brandon’s loved ones. His family cannot help but wonder: if Brandon hurt himself, where is he and why hasn’t he been found?
Brandon’s best friend and roommate Monty was the last person to see him, said Jones.

According to Slaughter, Monty told the sheriff’s office that he and Brandon had been drinking together and shooting guns near the home the day before he disappeared. At some point, they started arguing, said Slaughter.

“There was some disagreements and arguments between them on Sunday,” she said.

Slaughter would not comment on what the arguments were about but added that Monty told investigators that Brandon went to sleep Sunday night and was still there in the morning when he left for work. However, some details he provided have changed during subsequent interviews, she said, without elaborating.

Through the Lanier County Sheriff’s Office, Monty declined to be interviewed for the story. However, Jones said he has cooperated with the agency and that investigators have interviewed him multiple times.

In addition, Brandon’s family said that Monty filed the initial missing person report with the Sheriff’s Office and even spearheaded a search in the days after Brandon vanished.
 
The Vanished Podcast just released an episode about Brandon's disappearance.
<iframe src="Brandon Helms" style="width: 100%; height: 200px; border: 0 none;" scrolling="no"></iframe>
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In December 2015, 42-year-old Brandon Helms was temporarily living with a friend in Lakeland, Georgia. Brandon and his wife had recently separated, and Brandon was navigating this new territory. Brandon wanted to make his marriage work, he loved his wife and adored their daughters. On December 14th, Brandon’s wife called his parents to ask if they had seen or heard from him, but they had not. Brandon’s friend said Brandon was there when he left the house that day, but when he returned, Brandon was nowhere to be found. Brandon’s truck, phone, cigarettes, and jacket were left behind. Search and rescue responded and searched the area, but they never found any trace of Brandon Helms. The case went cold for several years until law enforcement decided to take a second look. Perhaps things weren’t as simple as they appeared on the surface.
If you have any information regarding the disappearance of Brandon Helms, please call the Lanier County Sheriff’s Office at (229) 482-3545.
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OCT 18, 2022

Tallahassee Police investigating skeletal remains found off Apalachee Parkway

[...]

The post described the remains as “skeletal” and said preliminary findings indicated the remains were human. It also stated that a group of people made the discovery just before 3 p.m. in a “heavily wooded” area near the 2600 block of Apalachee Parkway and immediately called law enforcement.

[...]

The area is located just across the street from a strip mall and in between two commercial properties. It is half a mile from the Springfield Suites Hotel where Jason Winoker was last seen in Aug. of 2021.

However, there are multiple people who have been reported missing in the area. Ali Gilmore vanished from her Tallahassee home in Feb. of 2006, 48-year-old Sean Reddish was last seen August 31 on surveillance camera inside a Crawfordville gas station, and Brandon Helms disappeared from a south Georgia home in Dec. 2015.

[...]
 
OCT 20, 2022
Roughly 100 volunteers plan to conduct the first-ever grid search in the area where Brandon Helms went missing in 2015.

[...]

Search and rescue dogs were called out to the home where Brandon was staying on the day he went missing, but it was a rainy day and they could not find a scent beyond the property. The home was only visually inspected by Sheriff’s deputies and not forensically searched by a crime scene team for roughly three years, said investigators. The surrounding land has never been part of a grid search.

Brandon Helms, of Thomasville, vanished from a Lanier County home in 2015. Roughly 100...


The group will meet at 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 22 at the Lanier County Courthouse located at 56 West Main Street in Lakeland, GA. Anyone planning to attend should wear a bright orange shirt or vest. Since Brandon disappeared with his keys, metal detectors are encouraged. It will be led by the former lead investigator on Brandon’s case.

The collective search party will leave the courthouse by 9:15 a.m. and head to the search site, an area in the vicinity of the address Brandon was last seen and that consists of mostly farmland. ...

If you plan on attending, please RSVP via the Facebook page so organizers can get an accurate headcount.
 
OCT 24, 2022
[...]

The search party met in the quaint downtown at 9 a.m. and then caravaned to the search party headquarters on private property next to the Teeterville Highway house Helms had been staying at in 2015.

[...]

“It’s like finding a needle in a haystack out here, but God can do anything. I truly believe that,” said Darren Howell, of Azalea Prison Ministries.

“You can’t turn every stone, but we’re going to try,” said Jeffrey Key, who was from the same group.

Key spent more than an hour with a shovel at one point digging away in an area where a blanket, duct tape, and a shell casing were found. The items were found in an area that could have once been a trash dump site, but will still be sent out for forensic testing.

Brandon’s mother Gail, father Roger, sister Kelley, brother Todd, and sister-in-law Shelley also came out to help, in addition to other family members and friends.

[...]

Most of the search was through thick forest brush on farmland that surrounds the house Brandon was last seen at. Dozens of bones were collected. However, a medical examiner determined they were all animal bones.

The Helms family said they plan to search a different part of the grid in about six months.
 
OCT 24, 2022
[...]

The search party met in the quaint downtown at 9 a.m. and then caravaned to the search party headquarters on private property next to the Teeterville Highway house Helms had been staying at in 2015.

[...]

“It’s like finding a needle in a haystack out here, but God can do anything. I truly believe that,” said Darren Howell, of Azalea Prison Ministries.

“You can’t turn every stone, but we’re going to try,” said Jeffrey Key, who was from the same group.

Key spent more than an hour with a shovel at one point digging away in an area where a blanket, duct tape, and a shell casing were found. The items were found in an area that could have once been a trash dump site, but will still be sent out for forensic testing.

Brandon’s mother Gail, father Roger, sister Kelley, brother Todd, and sister-in-law Shelley also came out to help, in addition to other family members and friends.

[...]

Most of the search was through thick forest brush on farmland that surrounds the house Brandon was last seen at. Dozens of bones were collected. However, a medical examiner determined they were all animal bones.

The Helms family said they plan to search a different part of the grid in about six months.
I was going to post about this yesterday morning after I heard it on the news, but it was later in the day before they posted it to their website and I never went back and checked again. If this search isn't fruitful with the found items, I hope the next one is. They deserve answers.
 

June 7, 2023

 

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Helms, circa 2015

<<Prior to his disappearance, Helms's wife had texted him saying she would see him at Christmas. He texted back to say she wouldn't see him because he wouldn't be there.

Although there is no evidence of foul play in Helms's case, his family and police are concerned for his safety. He was separated from his wife at the time of his disappearance; she stated he became depressed and began drinking heavily after he lost his job. One theory is that he died by suicide, but little evidence is available in his case.>>
 
A few more photos of Brandon from CP

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Helms, circa 2015


April 15, 2018

 

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