CALDWELL COUNTY, Texas - It's been more than a year since Texas State student Jason Landry went missing.
Officials have now released never-before-seen video and police audio as the search continues for Landry who was last seen December 2020 before driving to his parents' Houston-area home.
Captain Jeff Ferry of the Caldwell County Sheriff's Office has spent countless hours analyzing footage including body cam video showing what a volunteer firefighter discovered and a Facetime recording from one of Landry's friends.
"All signs point to us that he is under the influence, and we know that he's going to get in the car and try to navigate his way to Missouri City, where his parents are not expecting him. He was not due home. He was going to hang out with buddies, play video games and get high," Ferry says.
Landry went on Facetime with one of the friends he was going to hang out with ahead of the trip. Ferry says Landry's friend recorded the Facetime because "…he was planning on meeting Jason later and thought, Man, Jason's so high right now, he's not going to remember what he's saying." In the video, Landry is seen rolling the joints that officials say a state trooper would recover from Landry's backpack hours later.
The video does not have audio so Ferry says officials are forced to rely on Landry's friends and their recollection of the conversation. "They're talking about spiritual awakening and enlightenment and opening his third eye and drug consumption," Ferry says.
That conversation, Ferry says, is consistent with Landry's internet activity in the minutes leading up to Landry's disappearance. "(Landry's) googling 'How long can you live in the woods without food and or how long can you go in the wilderness?' He's looking up some spiritual enlightenment. Practices, he's looking up different strains of marijuana and different how to combine those, he's looking up different and he's talking about psychedelics and how they have impacted his life and his perception of spiritual awakening," Ferry says.
Looking at Landry's digital footprint, Ferry says he doesn't believe anything nefarious happened to Landry. Searches have come up dry so the Caldwell County Sheriff's Office hopes the newly released phone calls, videos, and other data can generate new interest and leads.
Landry's family are left with their own questions. "If for any individual, myself included, you or anyone else and the government felt they were appropriate to release our weirdest searches that we ever Googled in recent time. What would it look like for each of us? It would probably look pretty odd. So that would be my question is why would you do that?" asks Jason's father Kent Landry.
If you know where Jason Landry is or have information you think could help the case, contact Captain Ferry at (512) 398-6777 ext. 4504.
DISAPPEARANCE OF TEXAS STATE STUDENT JASON LANDRY
Investigators believe the 21-year-old planned to drive home from his apartment in San Marcos to Missouri City, a suburb of Houston. A timeline from the Caldwell County Sheriff's Office tracks Landry's movements from when he left his apartment in San Marcos to when his phone ceased pinging in Luling.
The timeline provided by CCSO is as follows:
- December 13, 2020, 10:55 p.m.: Landry leaves his apartment in San Marcos, headed to Missouri City
- December 13, 2020, 11:05 p.m.: Landry is driving on Hwy 80 and passes under I-35 in San Marcos
- December 13, 2020, 11:07 p.m.: Landry enters Caldwell County on Hwy 80, heading south
- December 13, 2020, 11:11 p.m.: Landry enters Martindale, still heading south on Hwy 80
- December 13, 2020, 11:15 p.m.: Landry passes over SH 130 on Hwy 80
- December 13, 2020, 11:17-11:21 p.m.: Landry passes through Fentress, Prairie Lea, and Stairtown
- December 13, 2020, 11:24 p.m.: Landry enters Luling on Hwy 80.
CCSO says that as Landry went through the intersection at Hackberry Street where Hwy 80 becomes Austin Street, he stopped using the Waze app and began using Snapchat.
Landry then continued on Austin St. to the intersection with U.S. 183, also known as Magnolia Avenue, and CCSO says investigators believe he continued straight through that intersection, continuing onto E. Austin, but at this intersection, his digital footprint stops. Landry then continued on E. Austin onto Spruce Street, which turns into Salt Flat Road.
A volunteer firefighter found Jason Landry’s car crashed and abandoned on the 2300 block around 12:30 a.m. on December 14, says CCSO. The vehicle's lights were still on. A highway patrol trooper had Jason’s car towed. He took his backpack, which contained a few joints, and left.
Hours later, Jason Landry's father Kent Landry found his way to Salt Flat Road. He expected to see flashing police lights and his son. Instead, the road was dark and empty. "I saw deer, three different sets of deer ran by. Coyotes ran by and I didn’t see another car, another person."
The clothing Jason Landry had been wearing, his shoes, even his underwear, were scattered throughout the street. "I found [my son’s] fish. I found where the accident was, and I’m the only one who took pictures or video of that." he said.
Kent Landry was able to locate his son’s vehicle at an impound lot. His cellphone was still in the car. No one was searching for him. Kent Landry added, "[the accident scene is] the middle of nowhere. In that hour window, it may very well be possible that there’s not another person in that box except Jason and whoever did whatever they did. Whoever else is involved in this case."
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