Scores of people go missing every day. An overwhelming majority of such cases end up resolved, often quite promptly. Still, far too many families of missing persons never know closure, be it reuniting with their lost loved ones or finally learning of their fate.
When someone vanishes without a trace, it’s not uncommon for that person’s last words to others to stand out in their memories. These final words can be ominous, poignant, or quite unremarkable. They may offer disturbing hints as to the missing person’s fate, or they may be innocuous statements which in no way foreshadowed what was to come. The following are accounts of ten people who disappeared, as well as the last things they said to 911 operators, coworkers, friends, or family.
10 ‘They’re After Me. More Than One.’
Michael “Mike” McClain spent the evening of April 20, 2019, at the Tropical Lounge nightclub in Nashua, New Hampshire. The 29-year-old resident of nearby Manchester was at the club with friends and, by all accounts, had no reason to abandon his life.
That night, a dispute occurred between two women at the club. They stepped outside, at which point the situation escalated. A crowd formed. Mike, who knew one of the women, broke the fight up, but the police had been called. They dispersed the onlookers, and it was at this point that Mike’s friends lost track of him. A bit before 2:00 AM the next morning, Mike called his boss and said, “They’re after me. More than one.” This ominous statement prompted her to call him back, but there was no answer. Mike hasn’t been seen since that night.
Mike’s family knew something was amiss when he didn’t return calls on Easter or call his sister on her birthday. It is believed that he left the nightclub on foot. His phone was last pinged at a McDonald’s a few blocks down the street from the Tropical Lounge at around the time he called his boss, but there are few other clues for investigators to go on. His credit cards have shown no activity, and he hasn’t posted anything on social media. He remains missing as of this writing.
9 ‘I’m Putting Dinner On.’
Will Cierzan, 58 years old, was a longtime employee at Six Flags Magic Mountain and enjoyed watching sports, collecting Coca-Cola bottles, and cooking. He spent the afternoon of January 26, 2017, at his home in Santa Clarita, California, watching golf on TV with his nephew. After the nephew left, Will began to make dinner. At around 4:30 PM, his wife, Linda, called him, and Will said, “I’m putting dinner on.” When she called again at roughly 5:00 PM, Will was in a good mood and said that the chicken was cooked.
However, when Linda arrived home at around 6:00 PM, Will was nowhere to be seen. Dinner was cooked, the oven was turned off, and Will’s coat, keys, and wallet were all present. Nothing had been taken from the wallet. The family’s dog was at home, and Will’s truck was parked outside.
A few cryptic clues would emerge. In February 2017, it was revealed that some of Will’s blood had been found in the house. Surveillance footage from a neighbor’s house showed that a white SUV backed up to Will’s garage a bit after 5:00 PM. It left only a few minutes later. Police stated that this vehicle belonged to a family member. Neither of these leads panned out.
In May 2017, detectives named Will’s nephew as a person of interest. However, he cooperated with investigators, and no arrests were made. In December 2018, a human skull was found not far from Valencia, Will’s neighborhood. This skull has not been linked with Will, though, and may very well be unrelated. Will’s fate is still unknown.
8 ‘I’m Scared.’ / ’Never Mind.’
June 21, 2013, was a busy day for Brookelyn Farthing of Madison County, Kentucky. The 18-year-old and her younger sister, Paige, took their driver’s license tests that day. Afterward, they attended their grandfather’s 70th birthday party. That evening, Brookelyn, Paige, and a cousin went to a second birthday party, this one held out in a field.
Paige and Brookelyn’s cousin decided to leave the party early on. This was fine with Brookelyn, who had made plans to sleep over at the home of a friend who was also at the party. Plans changed, however, when Brookelyn’s friend decided she wanted to spend the night at a boy’s house. The two argued, and the friend left.
Toward the end of the party, Brookelyn was seen leaving with two young men (names withheld). One of the men was dropped off, and the other man took Brookelyn to his house in Berea. It was from here, at around 4:00 AM on June 22, that Brookelyn called Paige and asked if their cousin could come pick her up. However, the cousin had had too many drinks and was in no condition to drive. Brookelyn didn’t want her mother to have to come get her, so she called her ex-boyfriend, who worked third shift. He agreed to give her a ride home when he got off work. It was at this point that the man who’d brought Brookelyn to the house left.
Before long, Brookelyn’s ex-boyfriend received several texts from her:
“Can you hurry,” “Please hurry,” and then “I’m scared.” However, another text came in, telling the ex to “never mind” and that Brookelyn was going to a party in neighboring Rockcastle County, the edge of which Berea is near. He asked who she was going with, but there was no response. Brookelyn hasn’t been heard from since.
The owner of the house later returned to find it on fire, and firefighters would find some of Brookelyn’s belongings still inside. The man speculated that the fire could have been started by a cigarette she was smoking when he left. He said he left her there because he was friends with her ex-boyfriend and did not feel comfortable being there when he arrived. He also confirmed that Brookelyn had spoken of a party in Rockcastle County. Brookelyn’s whereabouts remain unknown, and no arrests have been made in the case.
7 ‘I’ll Call You Back.’
Marion Barter, a primary school teacher in Australia’s Gold Coast, lived a seemingly normal, happy life. Things changed, however, when her third marriage ended in the mid-1990s. A few years later, in 1997, Marion abruptly sold her home and went on a trip to England.
Her family received no further word from her until July 31, when a message from Marion appeared on the answering machine of her daughter, Sally Leydon. Marion later called again from a pay phone. Marion said she was in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, and was having tea and scones with some old women and that she was having a good time. The conversation played out in several chunks, as Marion had to add money to the phone. Finally, Marion ran out of coins, and the phone call had to end. Her last words to Sally were, “I’ll call you back.” Marion, 51 years old at the time, hasn’t been seen or heard from since.
Sally believes her mother truly was in England, due to the delay effect on the calls. The case became stranger in October 1997, however, when thousands of dollars were withdrawn from Marion’s bank account. Sally learned from a bank worker that the money was withdrawn in Byron Bay, New South Wales. Police in Byron Bay never found any sign of Marion.
Marion remains unaccounted for.
6 ‘Can You Send Me A Picture Of My Son In The Movies?’
At 9:30 PM on July 13, 2019, Erika Gaytan of El Paso, Texas, sent a text message to the father of her seven-year-old son: “Can you send me a picture of my son in the movies?” Erika, 29, was attending a concert at the El Paso County Coliseum, so this request didn’t seem too strange. What is strange, if not outright unacceptable, to Erika’s family and friends is the notion that she would have just abandoned her son.
Erika was at the concert with a date, her attendance confirmed by social media posts. According to the date, after the concert had ended, she was waiting for an Uber to pick her up. The date left at this point.
It is worth noting that at the time of her disappearance, Erika was facing criminal charges, both for credit card abuse and criminal mischief. Her next court date was July 26. However, El Paso detectives do not believe this is why she vanished. They do, however, consider her disappearance suspicious and have asked anyone with information to come forward.
5 ‘I Love You, Pop.’
Chase Allen Lackey, age 25, was a member of a recreational softball league. On June 30, 2017, he played a game, watched by his father, Craig. Craig will never forget Chase’s last words to him that day: “I love you, Pop.”
The next day, Chase was seen walking his dog outside his Houston-area apartment. Neither he nor his dog have been seen since. Nothing was stolen from Chase’s apartment, and his truck remained untouched.
Although investigators characterized Chase has having lived “a normal life,” foul play is suspected in his disappearance. Few details have been publicly released, but apparently some of Chase’s friends had been involved in illegal doings. However, no arrests have been made in the case, and two years on, both Chase and his dog remain missing.
4 ‘I Just Want To Talk While I Have The Chance.’
Matthew Weaver moved from his parents’ home in Simi Valley, California, to his own apartment in Granada Hills, Los Angeles, in the summer of 2018. Things were looking good for the 21-year-old power line worker, and he had plans to travel the world. These aspirations were seemingly not meant to be.
On August 9, Matthew told his father that he was going out with a new a female acquaintance. Matthew picked her up at around 9:30 PM and dropped her off during the early morning hours of August 10. During this time, they reportedly “had a private talk.” Matthew then drove to Topanga, an area in the Santa Monica Mountains. Near sunrise, he posted a Snapchat picture of a scenic view and is believed to have entered a hiking trail. A few hours later, Matthew’s female friend received some strange text messages. They read: “Like some crazy is going onsh— is going on” and “I jusst to talk while i have the chance.” There was no further communication from Matthew.
Matthew’s last known location, according to Snapchat and cell phone records, was near Rosas Outlook. At 1:30 AM on August 11, several hikers in the area called 911 after hearing cries for help. At around that time, California Highway Patrol officers reportedly also heard screams and possibly someone yelling, “He’s got a gun!” Matthew’s car was found near a hiking trail, but the keys weren’t located until January 2019, when hikers found them a mere 25 feet (7.6 m) from where the car had been. That same month, high-resolution drone photos of the area enabled Matthew’s family to find a baseball cap and a torn T-shirt which they believe were Matthew’s. Despite these strange clues, Matthew remains missing.
3 ‘Don’t Ever Say Goodbye.’
During the summer of 2013, Candice L’hommecourt of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, celebrated her daughter’s first birthday. Among those in attendance was Candice’s older sister, 25-year-old Shelly Dene. Not long after that, in August, Shelly vanished without a trace. Shelly’s last words to Candice were, “Don’t ever say goodbye.”
Shelly was known known for her adventurous spirit and love of travel and had spoken of a taking a trip to the Yukon. Over the next several months, calls and texts to Shelly went unreturned. Concern greatly increased in November, when Shelly’s phone was disconnected.
Shelly was finally reported as missing. A clue came in the form of a witness report that a man was seen taking suitcases from Shelly’s apartment around the time that she went missing. However, by the end of 2014, police had exhausted all leads.
Candice has expressed her frustration with the police, who she says are reticent to work on Shelly’s case because of her First Nations heritage and her “high-risk” lifestyle. While Shelly’s family acknowledge that she had dealt with drug and alcohol addictions, Candice noted that:
[Police] label every First Nations person that is missing or murdered [as having] a high-risk lifestyle or a high-risk profile. They keep blaming the victim for what has happened to them. They don’t blame society and what’s wrong with society . . . these things shouldn’t be happening to innocent people, no matter what type of lifestyle they live.
Shelly Dene has not been found.
2 ‘Things Are Going To Get Better.’
Olivia Medel didn’t have much, but she had her two children, Enrique and Delfina. The single mother worked hard to support them, and things were good until Olivia lost her job. After this, the family had to move from Kansas City, Missouri, back to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where the children had originally been born. Though it wasn’t easy at first, Olivia found work in Albuquerque. Enrique, however, began to fall in with the wrong crowd.
It started when Enrique, then 13, began to hang out with a teenager named Andy, who was around six years older. Olivia had a bad feeling about Andy, but now that she was working again, she couldn’t keep an eye on her son all the time. Sometimes, Enrique would disappear in the middle of the night. Eventually, he was expelled from school for having a gun. Olivia believes the firearm was Andy’s idea.
On March 16, 2011, Enrique, now 14, spoke to his mother. He said, “Mom, I know you’re going through a hard time, but things are going to get better.” Olivia never saw her son again. Enrique’s uncle spotted him that night outside an Allsup’s (a convenience store). The uncle told Enrique to go home, but the latter said he was going to stay with some friends. He stopped answering his phone later that night and has been missing ever since.
Olivia felt that the police didn’t take her seriously when she reported her son missing, taking Enrique for a runaway. Ultimately, investigators did question Andy several times. The shady youngster gave inconsistent answers and was also found to be in possession of some of Enrique’s belongings. So far, however, no arrests have been made, and the case seems to have gone cold.
1 ‘No, I Need The Cops.’
In 2013, Brandon Lawson, 26, was living in San Angelo, Texas, with his longtime girlfriend and their four children. The oil field worker had found a new, more stable job with better hours and was set to start soon. But then Brandon didn’t come home on the night of August 7. This led to an argument with Ladessa, his girlfriend, on the evening of August 8. He had dealt with drug issues in the past and had recently relapsed, so Brandon staying out all night was cause for concern. At around 11:53 PM, Brandon grabbed his cell phone, a charger, his keys, and his wallet and left. His pickup truck was low on gas.
Before long, Brandon called his father, Brad, and asked to stay with him for the night. Brad said Brandon was welcome, but since the former lived three hours away in Crowley, he advised Brandon to go back home and work things out with Ladessa. A few minutes later, Ladessa called Brandon and suggested that he go stay with his brother, Kyle, if he was still angry and didn’t want to come back home. Kyle lived only five minutes away. Brandon must not have been into the idea, because Ladessa then called Kyle, saying she was worried about Brandon.
At 12:34 and 12:36 AM, Brandon tried to call Ladessa, but she didn’t answer either time. At 12:38, he called Kyle and said he’d run out of gas on Highway 277, not far from Bronte. Kyle called Ladessa, who left a gas can on the porch for Kyle before going to take a bath. Kyle and his girlfriend, Audrey, left to pick up the gas can at 12:45. At 12:48, Brandon tried to call Ladessa again but got no response.
Here’s where things become really strange. At 12:54 AM, Brandon made a disconcerting 911 call. Parts of the 43-second call were unintelligible. Brandon spoke of running out of gas and being in a field. He said he “accidently ran into” some people before there was background noise that may have been gunshots. The operator asked Brandon if he needed an ambulance. Amid indeterminate background noise, Brandon first replied in the affirmative but then changed his mind and said, “No, I need the cops.” Brandon did not respond to the operator after this, though the unidentified background noise seemed to get closer to him before the call ended.
Four minutes later, a passing trucker spotted Brandon’s pickup truck parked awkwardly on the highway and called 911 about it. At 1:10 AM, Kyle and Audrey found Brandon’s truck and were surprised to see a Coke County sheriff’s deputy there, too. There was no damage to Brandon’s truck. Kyle and Audrey initially assumed that Brandon was hiding in the field since he had an outstanding warrant in Johnson County. They surreptitiously called Brandon and managed to reach him one last time. Brandon said he was ten minutes into the field and bleeding and implored his brother to get to him quickly. The call ended, and Brandon responded to no further calls or texts.
Multiple searches for Brandon yielded nothing. Neither his bank account nor his cell phone showed any activity after that night. A few months after Brandon’s disappearance, investigators decided that Kyle was a suspect. They questioned him, and Kyle volunteered to take a polygraph test. He passed. Brandon is still missing.