ROBINSON BUTTE, Ore. – There’s one big piece of evidence that’s holding up investigators in the missing person’s case of Brandon Perdue, a Medford teen who was 18-years-old at the time of his disappearance.
And by “big” piece of evidence – that’s literal. It’s Perdue’s car.
The red 1998 Honda Civic still hasn’t been found since Perdue vanished on June 13, 2008. For investigators, something so large and typically so noticeable has been somewhat baffling with this case.
The lack of any substantial clues pointing to the car has essentially stopped this investigation in its tracks and stymied law enforcement from having any major leads on Perdue’s location.
"To be perfectly honest with you, I have no idea,” said Patrol Lieutenant Justin Ivens with the Medford Police Department. “That’s why it would benefit us so much if we could figure out… I think the key here is to figure out what happened to this vehicle.”
In a 2012 report by the Mail Tribune, Perdue was described as a troubled teen, known to take long drives into rural even leaving questionable messages on his Myspace page before he disappeared – including “I don’t want to be here anymore.”
“There are some messages that were left that there might be an indication of that he was thinking about harming himself,” said Lt. Ivens. “But as far as suspicious, as far as any type of criminal activity… there was none of that.”
Investigators say Perdue left the White City area after a fight with his girlfriend - last talking over the phone. His cell phone was last pinged somewhere around Robinson Butte, between Lake of the Woods and Fish Lake. Ultimately, it's an area too large to pinpoint an exact location without more help.
“My belief is that this was a teenage kid that was kind of down on his luck at that particular time and looking for some help – and this is how he went about it,” Ivens continued. “It would sure be nice to try and figure out where he’s at.”
While there’s still no confirmation about Perdue, investigators are still holding out hope his car will turn up somewhere – even keeping the vehicle’s data stored in case anything ever pops up.
“We just checked last week, and this vehicle is still entered,” said Lt. Ivens.
“The plates have not been ran, the VIN has not been ran… it’s just a big mystery on where this car is at, and I think that’s ultimately the key.”