My name is Becky. I am the mother of Branson Perry. Branson disappeared April 11, 2001 from Skidmore, Missouri. According to police reports, he was last seen at approximately 3 PM that Wednesday afternoon. Branson is considered an endangered missing person by the law enforcement. I want to tell you about the circumstances of his disappearance and the events of the investigation up to now.
The circumstances were reported by the last person to have supposedly seen Branson. Branson's father, Bob (who passed away in March 2004) and I were divorced in November 2000 and I was living in a small town about 20 miles from Skidmore. Bob had been in the hospital and was due to come home that Friday. Branson wanted the house to be clean when his father came home, so a friend was helping him that Wednesday. The alternator had also gone out of Bob's car prior to this day and there were two men replacing it where it was parked on the street in front of the storage shed that sat on an adjacent lot to the house. It is still unclear to me as to who asked them to fix it, whether it was Bob or Branson.
The events of the day are fairly sketchy to me and often make no sense. I don't have a time line of when they occurred, only sporadic comments that were made. At one point, the friend saw Branson run into the kitchen and take something out of one of the cabinets, then run out the back door. When he returned, she said he wouldn't tell her what he was doing and acted like nothing happened. Later, she said she had taken a shower and when she came out of the bathroom she saw one of the men that were working on the car going through the cabinets in the kitchen. She said she asked him what he was looking for and he told her nothing and went back outside. Then at approximately 3 PM she had been upstairs when she heard the front porch door shut. She looked out the window and saw Branson. She asked him where he was going and he told her he was going to put the jumper cables in the storage shed and would be right back. She never saw him again. The men that had been working on the car claim to have never seen him. No one saw him.
The friend just thought Branson had gotten sidetracked, so she left after she finished what she was doing. Bob did not come home that Friday, so his mother had come to check on Branson Friday since she hadn't heard from him for a couple days. When she got to the house, all the doors had been left open and the radio was on. She went to check again Saturday, and still nothing. She began to get concerned and started making phone calls to his friends. No one had heard from him. She called Bob on Sunday and he called me that evening. Bob got out of the hospital Monday morning and I met them at the police station to file a missing person's report.
When the police came to investigate, Bob could not find anything of Branson's that was missing. Even his wallet was left behind. When they checked the shed for the jumper cables, they were not there. Two weeks after the investigation started, they mysteriously showed up in the shed, just inside the door. Several people were given lie detector tests. Some passed it and some didn't. I was not given details, which I understand. Many leads came in at first. The police searched the river, farms, ponds, even wells. Nothing came up. When the leads became far and few, Bob's family contacted a local psychic. Once again the police followed up on new leads. Still nothing was found. The police had no new leads so to speak so the investigation pretty much came to a stand still. Then in April of 2003 Jack Wayne Rogers from Fulton, Missouri was arrested. During an arrest of a man in Alabama for porn charges, a chat log was found on his computer that led the police to Rogers. In the log, Rogers claimed to have kidnapped, tortured and brutally murdered a blonde haired man from Skidmore. I have read these logs. They are the most gruesome things I have ever seen. At this time Sgt. Merrill from the Missouri Highway Department became the lead investigator of Branson's case. The numerous searches still did not reveal any concrete evidence that they could charge Rogers for murder with. He consistently denies having ever had contact with my son and claims the logs were only fantasy. He was however, charged with several counts of porn and performing a gender reassignment on an individual in a motel room. He is currently serving 30 years with no chance of parole for these crimes. It was three years of the most extreme emotions I have ever felt. I attended every trial that I knew of that he had. I sat in the same courtroom with him and stood on the court steps as he walked by me.
Rogers was the prime suspect for several years. The police are not completely ruling out Rogers, but now the investigation has turned towards Skidmore again. They have received new leads there. I suppose time has a way of unraveling secrets. I believe someone in that area knows what happened to Branson. In my heart, I don't believe Rogers is responsible. Despite the nightmare I lived through then, I am thankful that someone with that much evil will never walk the streets again. If it wasn't for that chat log they found on the other computer the police may never have come across that animal.
I have never been a person to ask for much. I am asking, pleading, even begging for your help in finding my son or finding out what happened to him. I need for this nightmare to end. It is a roller coaster that doesn't ever stop. From the outside I may appear to be fine. Inside, I will never be ok. If you have ever lost someone who has died, then you know that feeling of complete despair. Over time it eases and becomes bearable.
You know the cause of what happened and you have been able to put your loved one to rest. You will always have that sense of emptiness and at times it overcomes you, but you are able to put it into perspective again. Parents of missing children never have that feeling ease. It never becomes bearable, only easier to hide. One minute you are ok and functioning, the next minute something triggers inside and you plummet to the deepest ravine you could ever imagine and can't find any way out. It can be something as simple as a smell, a taste, a sound, a touch and all the horror is there again. It never ends.
Please, please, please find it in your hearts to come forward if you have ANY information. You may think it is insignificant, but it may be the key link to answers. You can remain anonymous if you want. I continue to pray to God that Branson is safe; is happy;and will come home soon. But I fear the worst has happened. I fear I will never see my son's beautiful smile again, or hear his voice. I am also trying to get billboard signs to put up along the highways coming into Skidmore.
I had an individual that wrote in one of Branson's guest books that had never heard of this case and went to college in Maryville, MO and said he had friends that now live in Skidmore. I don't want anyone to forget my son. It has been so long since he disappeared that I have to get the information out again.
I believe if there is a constant reminder there again, that perhaps someone will come forward.
Skidmore is such a small town. I lived there for 17 years and knew most every one there. I had a greenhouse business there for several years. There are so many good people that live there. Yet so much unrelated tragedy has happened to our family in that town. In October of 2000 Wendy Gillenwater, was beaten to death by her boyfriend. April 2001, Branson disappeared. December 2004, Bobbi Jo Stinnett was found dead and her baby cut from her womb. They are all children that had great personalities and would do anything for anyone if it was in their power to do. They are all children who are missed every second of every day. So much sadness and pain, yet I have to continue to believe that 'everything happens for a reason'. Only God has those answers as I will never be able to understand.
Contacts for Information:
Sgt. David Merrill
MO Highway Patrol
P.O. Box 8580
St. Joseph, MO 64508
Branson Perry Reward Fund
The Bank of Fairport
6520 N. State Rt. A
Maysville, MO 64469
401 West Main
Maysville, MO 64469
593 Clinton Ave
Osborn, MO 64474
202 North Main
Clarksdale, MO 64430