In August 2006, Brandi Wells eagerly anticipated a night of enjoyment as she prepared to resume college. Venturing out on her own for a final evening of fun before diving back into her studies, Brandi, unfortunately, did not return. Her roommate notified her mother, who, in turn, contacted the police, triggering an investigation into her disappearance. However, a considerable amount of time had already elapsed before anyone saw Brandi again. ‘Disappeared: The End of Innocence’ delves into the circumstances surrounding her murder, exploring the question of whether she was eventually located.
Brandi Wells Was Excited to Return to College When She Went Missing
At 23 years old, Brandi Wells was a graduate of Chapel Hill High School, where she actively participated as a member of the band and flag corps. Described as a diligent and engaged student, Brandi was known for her hardworking nature and her caring and generous personality, as remembered by her mother and sister. Following high school, Brandi secured a scholarship to the University of Texas. However, at the age of 19, after completing her freshman year, she decided to get married. Initially planning to continue her studies after marriage, Brandi Wells faced the challenge of balancing family life and academic pursuits, leading her to eventually drop out.
Following a divorce, she relocated to San Antonio, Texas, in search of self-discovery. A few months before her disappearance, Brandi moved into an apartment in Brownsboro, sharing it with a roommate. At this time, she enrolled at Trinity Valley Community College and was employed at Walmart. On the evening of August 2, 2006, a few weeks before starting college, Brandi Wells visited her mother’s house in Tyler. Expressing her desire to go out, she asked her younger sister, who couldn’t accompany her due to feeling unwell.
Brandi mentioned being low on gas and inquired about using her mother’s car, but as her latter also had limited gas, she changed her clothes and left her home in her 2000 Pontiac Grand Prix. After leaving home, Brandi Wells arrived at the local bowling club, where her family friend Janette Greene worked as a bartender. Brandi ordered a drink and mentioned her plan to visit Graham Central Station in Longview, a place she hadn’t been to before but wanted to explore. Greene cautioned her to be careful, especially since Brandi was unfamiliar with the area and intended to go alone.
The following morning, Brandi had not returned home, and her mother initially assumed she might have stayed with a friend. However, in the evening, Brandi’s roommate called her mother, expressing concern as Brandi hadn’t returned to their apartment. This heightened worry led Brandi’s mother to reach out to all her friends and family to inquire about Brandi’s whereabouts. On August 4, Brandi’s mother officially reported her missing to the Tyler Police Department. The family was redirected to the Longview Police Department upon learning that she had gone to Graham Central Station.
Brandi Wells Has Not Been Found Till Today
On the morning of August 3, 2006, a trooper from the Texas Department of Public Safety spotted a 2000 Pontiac Grand Prix parked on the side of Interstate 20 just outside Longview. The driver’s door was left open, but there was no one inside. After running the license plate, the trooper found no report of the car being missing or associated with any crime. Considering it was abandoned, the Longview Police Department towed the vehicle.
The connection of the car to Brandi was only established five days after her disappearance, prompting a thorough investigation to locate her. Inside the car, the police discovered a napkin with a phone number and a man’s name, along with a cell phone believed to be Brandi’s. They observed that the driver’s seat was pushed far back, inconsistent with Brandi’s 4 ’11” height, indicating that someone else may have driven the car. In the trunk, a can of gas was found, which her family confirmed was not something Brandi typically carried.
After contacting the number found on the phone, the police spoke to the man who cooperated with the investigation. He revealed that he had met Brandi on the night of August 2 at Graham Central Station, where they had engaged in conversation. Brandi had subtly mentioned being low on gas and hinted at needing money without directly requesting it. Surveillance footage from the club was reviewed, identifying a woman resembling Brandi who entered the establishment around the expected time. The footage also showed her leaving with several men and later interacting with others outside the club.
After showing the footage to Brandi’s mother, who noted a difference in Brandi’s clothing, the police proceeded to release the footage to the media based on their assumptions. A few weeks later, Brandi’s aunt and uncle visited the police station to review the footage. To their surprise, they clarified that the woman identified by the police was not Brandi. Upon closer inspection, Brandi was observed entering the club alone and leaving by herself after a few hours. Witnesses who interacted with her confirmed that she appeared fairly sober.
The phone retrieved by the police and being tracked yielded inconclusive results. While some individuals in the contact list identified Brandi, others did not. It wasn’t until they showed the phone to Brandi’s mother that she clarified that the phone belonged to her ex. On the other hand, due to the considerable time that had lapsed before the car was connected to Brandi, the forensic team faced challenges in gathering evidence, suspecting that much of it might have been washed away by the rain. The case appeared to be at a standstill with limited progress.
When the police obtained the call records of Brandi’s phone, they observed a significant number of 1-minute or 2-minute calls being made from it a week after her disappearance. The police traced the phone to a high-crime area in Longview. The individual making the calls had a previous criminal record, but specific details about him have not been publicly disclosed. He claimed to have found the phone on August 11, but he refused to take a polygraph test initially. Although reports indicate that he eventually took one, the results were reportedly inconclusive. The police view him as a person of interest in the case.
Brandi Wells remains missing, and her case is still open. Despite the passage of time, her family continues to hold onto hope that she will be found. Numerous searches have been conducted over the years with the assistance of various organizations, but unfortunately, none have yielded successful results thus far.