Story for 18 Wheel Angels Campaign, written by Jackson's mother:
Thank you to everyone who looks at the poster of our son, Jackson Miller, and helps us to find him. We have been searching for him since he left home on May 15th, 2010 and we weren’t aware that this wonderful organization called Project Jason had programs that could help us. We miss Jackson terribly and every day without him has been tporture. He was on very good terms with his family and so we are very worried by his lack of communication with anyone that knows him.
Jackson was 19 when he left home anxious and depressed and drove our car to the Golden Gate bridge parking lot. He paid for a parking ticket and left his phone, IPod, sunglasses, and wallet in the car. The bridge authorities’ video cameras saw him walk away from the bridge entrance and then go out of view. It was a clear sunny weekend day with excellent visibility and so the initial police investigation concluded that no one had jumped that weekend after reviews of the video tapes and no reports from witnesses.
While Jackson has suffered on and off from anxiety and depression since the beginning of high school, he is very well liked and many friends immediately helped us look for him. We started going up to San Francisco, an hour from our home in Cupertino, as soon as we found out where his car was and have been up there looking for him on a regular basis ever since. We have posted flyers all over the city at businesses, homeless shelters, police stations, social service organizations, hospitals, and have handed them out to people on the streets. As a result, we have received quite a few calls from people who are very sure they saw Jackson. Unfortunately, not one of them has been confirmed due to many different circumstances. There were four different reports of Jackson being seen four days after he left home on California Ave. near 21st St. in the Richmond District. These reports were so convincing that we are extremely hopeful that he is still alive. However, they also led us to believe that his mental state was compromised and that we need to find him as quickly as possible.
Even though the leads have given us hope, we are extremely anxious about the amount of time that has gone by, about some of the disturbing descriptions of him, and the thought of Jackson having to suffer out on the streets on his own for so long. We know that he is not in a good mental state because he never went a day without talking with us before he left and his favorite place was to be at home. He suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and is quite particular about his looks and his surroundings. It is difficult to imagine him unable to gel his hair or wear clean clothes. We always told him that we loved him no matter what happened but he constantly struggled in his own head with the need to be perfect.
The month leading up to Jackson’s disappearance, he became very depressed and hopeless. He did not want to take medication for his anxiety any more and so was titrating off of it which made him more anxious and depressed. He also used medical marijuana for his anxiety for about four months and decided he didn’t like what it was doing to his mental capabilities in college. So he tried to go cold turkey off of that too, which made him unable to do much of anything but sit in his room listening to music or watch movies. He couldn’t sleep which increased his anxiety as well. He spiraled down so fast that we couldn’t figure out how to get him help without him getting super paranoid that we would bring him somewhere and he would loose his freedom to choose. Because of his OCD, he became easily addicted to marijuana. Although Jackson feared drugs such as methamphetamine in the past, we are extremely worried about his need for self-medication and what he might be encountering on the streets.
We are extremely hopeful that someone seeing this poster will be able to lead us to Jackson. If you do see him, please don’t let him out of your sight as so many others have this past year and a half until you have gotten help. Take a picture if you can and send it to us so we can verify it. Here is a description of his looks and personality before he left home.
Jackson is 5’ 10” to 5’ 11” and his weight fluctuated between 150-180 lbs. His hair is brown and he liked wearing it short with the top gelled. When his hair gets long, it gets wavy which really annoyed him. His eyes are a gorgeous light blue with long eyelashes. His eyebrows are lighter than his hair color. He has worn a goatee in the past and his facial hair is a strawberry blond. His skin is pale and ruddy in the sun. His facial features are strong, with a somewhat pointed nose, pointed chin, square jaw and cheeks, and a widow’s peek somewhat similar to Leonardo DiCaprio’s. He has a wonderful smile but can often be found looking depressed.
He loves music of all kinds and knows a lot about contemporary music. He especially enjoyed listening to different types of electronic music and a band called the DefTones. He could remember the words to lots of songs, including several rap songs. He does a charismatic rendition of “I Will Survive” and “I Feel Good.” Let’s hope he is keeping those words on his mind right now! As a child he played the piano and guitar and in college he took an electronic music class. He is quite intelligent and interested in all kinds of things from philosophy to psychology to pharmacology to business but his anxiety made it difficult for him to stay organized and focused and he would get extremely stressed out for tests. He was studying at De Anza Community College when he left and was planning to attend a competitive four-year college when he was ready.
He knows quite a lot about the brain and different types of medications prescribed for mental illness. He used to research all kinds of things on the Internet. He analyzes his situation often and comes up with lots of plans to make his life perfect. He is very inwardly focused and while he may look quite confident from the outside, he is very self-critical. When he talks to you, he may seem guarded about his words and like he’s thinking deeply about something. Style and looks are important to him and he used to only wear the following colors: black, white, gold, silver, grey, and light green. At one time he had an eyebrow earing but had taken it out by the time he left. He left his rings and watch at home but used to like to wear some silver jewelry on his hands. He has long slender fingers and we used to joke about him becoming a hand model like the guy in the movie, Zoolander.
He was very athletic and could excel at almost any sport he tried. He was an especially good swimmer and wrestler and therefore had developed a strong upper body. He also could run very fast and his leg muscles were developed as well. He talks softly during a one on one conversation but in a group when he is feeling gregarious, he can get quite loud with a very hearty laugh.
His smile and laugh are unforgettable so if you are able to make him smile, you’ll know it’s him! In fact, several of the calls we got said they were sure it was Jackson they saw because they recognized the smile from the photo on the poster. Thank you so much for your help!