WEST FORK, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Shelley and Darrell Barron keep their phones at an arm’s reach.
Shelley reads out loud a text she sent to her son in October 2021, “I love you and miss you. I hope one day you understand that.”
On the other side of the line, silence.
“Waiting by the phone is the hardest thing a mother can go through,” Shelley said. “To find out your son is alive or dead is really hard.”
Brandon’s parents last saw him in June of 2020, walking alone on the side of Highway 265 past the Hog Eye Mall in Washington county.
“We don’t know if he disappeared because he’s in a delusional state and he’s trying to separate from everybody and get away from everything or if something has happened to him,” Darrell said.
Growing up, his parents say Brandon was smart – a graduate of West Fork High where he was a drum major.
But Brandon was drawn to the party lifestyle and turned to drugs.
“He told his dad that he has been hearing voices the whole time,” Shelley said. “If I would’ve known, I would’ve gotten him help.”
Just a month before they last saw him, Brandon’s parents say he checked himself into a mental hospital and sent a text to Shelley.
“Happy Mother’s Day obviously I’m broke and the struggles are real, [I] would’ve sent you a card…thinking about you, love you.“
Brandon’s parents say he only stayed at the hospital for a few days, didn’t take his medicine, and started sending them threatening messages.
“I really believe just from his actions and the messages that he would send me that were totally bizarre that he was dealing with schizophrenia,” Darrell said.
Concerned for their safety, Darrell and Shelley says they couldn’t let Brandon stay at their house.
From there, They heard Brandon was bouncing around friends’ couches until they stopped receiving updates altogether.
“We’ve checked in with all of the mental health facilities we could find, our crisis stabilization unit … all our hospitals.” Washington County Sheriff’s Detective Andrew Morris said.
Brandon’s nomadic lifestyle only made it harder to track him down.
“We don’t have him anywhere,” Morris said.
Morris said the last time Brandon was seen on record was in December 2020 when he was removed from the Fayetteville Salvation Army for violating curfew.
“I just want to find him, have a talk with him and get him in touch with his family,” Morris said.
“If our son does not want to come home, just let us know you’re all right,” Shelley said. “Just let us know you’re okay so we will have peace in our hearts.”
Det. Morris entered Brandon’s name, DNA, and fingerprints into several national databases.
Now their hope is in the hands of a match or a return of a text.
Shelley read the last text she sent to Brandon out loud.
“I don’t know if you are seeing these but I just want to let you know that we love you. We will never give up looking for you. I just want to make sure you’re alright.”
Brandon Barron is 5’11 and 185 pounds. He has brown hair and brown eyes.
Det. Morris says if you see Brandon or someone that could be him, call the sheriff’s office at 479-444-5700.
The Barrons also have a Facebook page you can follow for updates.