Clinton Nelson: What Happened to Him? Has He Been Found?

Image Credit: Finding Clinton/Facebook

‘Disappeared: Into the Bayou’ explores the case of Clinton Nelson, who was last seen at a friend’s party. He was actually curious to know about his biological father, which is why he’d headed to Louisiana to get to know him. Just a few months later, he vanished into thin air while his loved ones searched the area around the Louisiana Bayou. The episode delves deeper into the mysterious case with the help of interviews with Clinton’s family and friends, and the experts who were directly involved in the investigation.

Clinton Nelson Vanished Upon Stepping Out of a Party

The son of Carolyn Johnson and Jeffrey Mason, Clinton Devon Nelson, was brought into the world on August 9, 1985, in Nebraska. While Clinton was still young, his parents got divorced and his mother Carolyn married a man from the military, giving him a stepfather. Due to the nature of his job, they moved from Nebraska to Spearfish, South Dakota, where he was legally adopted by his mother’s new husband. When they gave birth to a daughter of their own, it resulted in Clinton having a new, loving sister. Always kind and caring towards others, he used to like spending his time doing outdoor activities, such as hunting and fishing.

Image Credit: Finding Clinton/Facebook

By the time he was in his senior year, Clinton had started experimenting with drugs and even accidentally overdosed on some medications, due to which he was taken to the hospital. In 2003, he was charged with burglary and spent six months behind bars for stealing items from his high school along with some of his friends. Once released, Clinton had an urge to meet his biological father, Jeff Mason, so he decided to go to Louisiana for the same. Despite his mother’s disapproval, Clinton went ahead and moved in with Jeff, his wife Debbie, and her children in March 2006. Not long after, he started working in oil rigs that involved heavy physical labor and long hours but a good amount of wages. Moreover, a woman in Spearfish, South Dakota informed him about her pregnancy and that he could be the father.

On one unfortunate day at work, Clinton got severely injured following an accident as he suffered from 15 broken ribs, a broken arm, and a large laceration to his collarbone. Nevertheless, he recovered quite quickly and resumed work. But in August 2006, he was arrested for drug possession and drug paraphernalia possession. Jeff had kept his hard-earned money safe, and just a day before he disappeared, Clinton asked for his money. On August 31, 2006, he was dropped off by his father at one of his friends’ house in Princeton, Louisiana, to attend a party over Labour Day. The next day, September 1, 2006, Clinton was supposed to be picked up by his father but around 10 pm, he had talked with Jeff over call and sounded “disturbed and scared,” as per Jeff Mason. He even whispered that the police were chasing him.

When Jeff inquired about Clinton, his friend claimed that he had stepped out of the party for a cigarette around 8:30 pm and did not return after that. Jeff informed Carolyn about the entire situation after a couple of days and soon, a missing persons report was filed. When the authorities looked into the matter, they found out that there had been no activity on his cell phone since he went missing. He had $2,300 in cash on that night but no transportation and credit cards.

Clinton Nelson is Still Missing But His Family Remains Hopeful for Answers

During the extensive investigation of Clinton’s disappearance, detectives discovered that the friend Clinton had visited for the party was charged and arrested in 2011 for dealing in methamphetamines from his house. Upon interviewing other witnesses who were at the house party on the fateful night, they claimed Clinton had been acting all paranoid for most of the party as he was seemingly under the influence of some heavy narcotics. Deducing that he could have wandered off to some nearby areas on foot under a drug-induced psychosis, the authorities conducted a ground search of the rural Louisiana terrain in November but it yielded no results.

Clinton did not even get to celebrate becoming a father for the first time – just six weeks into his disappearance, a partner gave birth to his child. When Carolyn got to know that his son was missing, the first weeks went horribly for her as she was always on her toes when the phone rang, hoping that it would be her son on the other side. In order to spread more awareness about his case, his friends and family played their part by creating a Facebook page Finding Clinton. In 2018, one of the officials in charge of the investigation told the Shreveport Times, “We’ve searched numerous places, we’ve dove ponds, we’ve drained ponds, we have done land searches, we have had cadaver dogs out, we’ve sifted through dirt looking for bone fragments of any kind. Thousands of man-hours have been put into it.”

In 2019, more than 13 years after his son’s sudden disappearance, Carolyn stood in the parking lot of a church in Princeton, not too far from where he was last seen. She held a flyer in her hand and stated, “I’m here looking for my son, Clinton Nelson.” She and the rest of her family put up a $25,000 reward for anyone who brought a substantial piece of information about Clinton’s whereabouts and the ones responsible for his disappearance. Even after nearly two decades, Clinton is still missing but his family has not given up hope and is positive that they will bring him home one day.

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