More than a year has passed since Michael Bryson went missing in the Umpqua National Forest, but his parents, Tina and Parrish Bryson, are no less determined to find him.
They described the past 14 months as an emotional roller coaster, with highs when they get new information and lows when advice runs out.
âThere are days when we’re on top of the world because things are going really well and then all of a sudden you fall to the bottom,â said Parrish Bryson, Michael’s father, as he sat. at a table in his house near Junction City. .
Michael Bryson was 27 when he went missing on August 5, 2020, at a party at Hobo campsite, which his parents described as a rave.
He was last seen by his parents on August 3, 2020, when he stopped by their house before going up with a friend for a week-long birthday party and a camping trip to the campsite, according to Parrish Bryson.
Bryson walked away from the campsite around 4:30 a.m., the Lane County Sheriff’s Office reported at the time.
The sheriff’s office still has a full-time detective assigned to the case and works there “almost daily”, but there hasn’t been any major progress, Sgt. said Thomas Speldrich.
âAt this point it’s still pretty static, there aren’t a lot of new developments,â Speldrich said. âAll the leads as they arrive have been worked on. Unfortunately, none of them provided the information we need to locate it.
Bryson left his camping gear at the campsite and his phone had been off for several days, the sheriff’s office said the week he went missing.
When asked if investigators believed there had been foul play, Speldrich said they were not ruling it out.
“We are certainly open to the possibility that there has been criminal action, and we have not had anything that has led us one way or the other at this point,” he said.
In December 2020, following advice, the sheriff’s office found several items of clothing in the woods that Bryson was last seen, according to Parrish Bryson. He was skeptical of the tip and said he believed the items had been planted by someone.
At least three times a week, Parrish said he follows the advice of community members, which sometimes means driving into the woods in the middle of the night, to find animal bones, a deer carcass or a area he had already investigated.
âI can’t tell you how many times I went to check the bones,â he said, later noting that he spent much of his time finding his son.
Other times these trips can be more useful, such as when he finds people near the area who can tell him something new. While Parrish searches for leads, Tina Bryson said she’s usually on the alert waiting at home.
“It’s like, ‘Is there a body this time? “Every time,” she said.
People who were at the party said after the incident that Michael got angry and left the bus where he was with other revelers.
Bryson’s parents are convinced someone murdered their son, although police have found no evidence of this so far. Tina Bryson also told The Register-Guard that she doesn’t believe he’s gone.
âIt’s just not Michael, he hardly ever got mad,â his mother said. âThere is nothing in me that indicates that Michael would have simply wandered casually out of this campground. “
The sheriff’s office declined to comment when asked for details about the party, such as the presence of drugs and the number of people present.
âWe have nothing to publish at the moment,â said Speldrich.
One of the sources of support and motivation that has raised Bryson’s family is the âLet’s Find Michael Brysonâ Facebook page, which has gained over 21,000 members. Of these, thousands have helped by printing research flyers for publication throughout Oregon and around the world.
People offer words of support for finding Bryson on the site, give advice they might have learned, and tell stories of how Bryson has positively impacted their lives. In one message, a woman said she was at a party contemplating suicide, before talking to Michael changed her mind.
The group has also become a site to help others in the United States cope with missing friends and family, and has regularly posted notices alerting others to keep an eye out for individuals.
The couple are also setting up a non-profit organization called the Michael Bryson Foundation, aimed at helping families resolve missing person cases and advocate for people with mental illness.
Krista Bryson, Michael’s sister, who is a clinical mental and family health therapist, helped by compiling a list of resources for people with mental health or addiction issues.
The attention has also led to several podcasts focused on analyzing what happened to Bryson, which Parrish says is hit or miss in terms of accuracy.
He “didn’t know a foreigner”
Anna Brandt, a close friend of Bryson’s whom she met at the Paradiso Music Festival in 2015, said she considered him a brother. Like his parents, Brandt described Bryson as a very nice person and someone who “didn’t know a stranger”.
âHe was a really good guy,â said Brandt, a 26-year-old who lived in Eugene but is now in Las Vegas. “He would give the shirt off his back to a stranger, and he had the most infectious smile and laughter that would light up any room he walked into.”
The last time Brandt saw Bryson was the weekend before he disappeared, when she went camping with him and his boyfriend.
Brandt explained how much Bryson loved music – he loved electronic dance music. He was planning to DJ at the party he went missing, according to his parents.
âHe was vulnerable, but in the best possible way,â Brandt said. “He opened up to people in a way that made them feel comfortable being themselves around him.”
Bryson faced drug addiction issues when he started college, his father said, but was doing well recently before he passed away, and he wanted to take courses to become an electrician.
“He was really starting to grow more on the right foot,” said Parrish Bryson, describing him as someone who “made everyone laugh and feel good”.
Tina Bryson asked anyone who was in the Hobo Campground area between August 3 and 5 to contact them or contact the Sheriff’s Office at (541) 682-4150, option 1, and reference case # Â° 20-5286.
Bryson is described as being 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighing around 180 pounds, with short brown hair and hazel eyes. He was last seen wearing rainbow fangs, black athletic shorts and possibly a brown corduroy baseball cap, the sheriff’s office said.