Searching for Answers: Missing Brandon Helms
“The closure that we’re seeking is: Is he safe? Is he warm? Is he fed? When bad weather comes, we think about, where is he?”
These are the questions the parents of Brandon Helms have been painfully wondering ever since his disappearance on Monday, December 15, 2015.
45-year-old Cordele native, Brandon Helms was last seen on Sunday, December 14, 2015. At the time he was 42-years-old and had brought his two young daughters home to their mother after spending time with them the day before at a Christmas event at his work in Lake Park, Georgia. Brandon was reported missing from his home by his long-time friend and roommate, Monte Kilcrease the following Monday morning, December 15, 2015.
Brandon’s parents, Gail and Harry Helms describe Brandon as being a kind and loving person who cared deeply about his family: two young daughters, Kaitlyn (eight-years-old at the time of his disappearance) and Ansley (seven-years-old at the time of his disappearance) and his wife, Misty Helms whom he had recently separated from.
“Brandon was a good man. He told us often when he was up here, that those girls were his life and that he would do anything for his girls. So it would not be like him to just up and abandon. Not with as much as he spoke with them, and spoke about them. Despite everything, he still loved Misty,” Harry said.
Gail remembers the last phone call conversation she had with Brandon the day before he disappeared.
“He had taken his girls to Home Depot where he worked for some kind of picnic, a big picnic they have. He was telling us how much fun they had, talked to the girls, everything was fine,” Gail said.
Brandon had moved out of the home he shared with his wife and began rooming with Monte Kilcrease in his house about three to six months before his disappearance.
When Brandon disappeared, the only items he brought with him were his car keys and wallet. His truck was left in the driveway along with his cell phone, cigarettes and lighter left in the house.
“What happened was, at about 11:15, Misty called me and wanted to know if I’d heard from Brandon. I told her ‘no I hadn’t.’ She said ‘Well, we can’t get him to answer the phone.’ She said Monte was going to go and look at the house and see if we could find him. So we said we’re headed down there and left. Before we got there, Monte called me and told me he had contacted the Sheriff’s Office because he couldn’t find him anywhere. When we got down there, it was a cold and rainy day. It was drizzly and misting rain. But now when we got there, they already had the tracking dogs out. They went probably a half-mile down the road, and they found nothing. They told us that he didn’t leave that property on foot. He carried nothing with him,” Gail said.
Brandon grew up in Cordele with his two siblings, Todd and Kelley. He had worked for multiple printing companies, including Cordele Dispatch and the Valdosta Daily Times as an operator for the printing press. Both Misty and Monte still currently work for the Valdosta Daily Times today.
According to Gail and Harry, Misty had gone to court in Thomas County in 2016 in an attempt to declare Brandon dead. The declaration did not go through.
National United States law, states that a person must be missing for seven years before he or she can be declared legally dead. Within the state of Georgia, that rule has been changed to reflect a shorter time frame: four years must go by before someone can be declared legally dead. This means that Brandon’s family must continue to be in limbo of Brandon’s disappearance for another two years at least.
“We’re left with a lot of questions, and no answers. No good answers anyway. He’s missed three Christmases and two birthdays. It’s terribly hard on us. To this date, there is nothing. Absolutely nothing. He was there, and then vanished into thin air,” Harry said.
Lanier County Sheriff’s Office has an ongoing missing persons case for Brandon. If anyone has any information or tips to help find Brandon Helms, please call the Lanier County Sheriff’s Office at 229-482-3545.