New details released in search for missing Texas State student
SAN MARCOS, Texas - On December 13, 2020, 21-year-old Texas State student Jason Landry disappeared on a drive from San Marcos to his hometown of Missouri City, Texas.
His crashed car was found on a gravel road in Luling’s oilfield. The Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office believes he stripped naked in the street leaving his belongings behind. More than a year after Landry’s disappearance the sheriff’s office is making evidence public for the first time with FOX 7 Austin, hoping to generate new leads.
"How long can you live in the woods without food?"
December 8, 2020 - December 13, 2020
San Marcos, Texas
Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office examined Jason Landry’s search history and communications leading up to his disappearance.
"[Jason is] Googling ‘How long can you live in the woods without food?’ and "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 how to combine those. He's talking about psychedelics and how they have impacted his life and his perception of spiritual awakening… There are communications with individuals where he talks about his intent of reaching the spiritual enlightenment through the use of narcotics. So does that play a factor into his disappearance? We think so," said Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office Captain Jeff Ferry.
December 13, 2020
San Marcos, Texas
Landry FaceTimed his friend in Missouri City approximately one hour before leaving his San Marcos apartment. Ferry said Landry’s friend screen-recorded the conversation because "Jason was so messed up that he didn’t think he was going to remember it later."
Landry was set to meet the friend he was FaceTiming in Missouri City.
Ferry explained, "All signs point to us that [Landry] 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."
The recording had no sound. The sheriff’s office attempted to have "university level" experts lipread the conversation, but efforts were unsuccessful - meaning the sheriff’s office had to rely on Landry’s friend for the record. "They're talking about spiritual awakening and enlightenment and opening his third eye and drug consumption," said Ferry.
The video shows Landry rolling several blunts and placing them inside a CVS container. The blunts were discovered approximately three hours later by a state trooper inside Landry’s backpack near the crash site on Salt Flat Road.
Landry is sweating in the video. His armpits are saturated.
"Certainly seems relevant knowing that in less than an hour, Jason is going to be disrobing in a very cold, austere environment," said Ferry.
Ferry called the video a "wealth of information" explaining it allowed investigators to determine what Landry was wearing when he left his San Marcos apartment, match that clothing to the clothing found in the roadway near the crash site and "say with certainty that he's by himself in the car."
"It appears that he hit a fence. There's clothing and shoes all in the roadway."
December 14, 2020
At 12:31 a.m. Landry’s vehicle is found crashed and abandoned on the 2300 block of Salt Flat Road. A volunteer firefighter driving through the area discovers the vehicle with its lights on and calls dispatch.
"He did a lousy job."
December 14, 2020
A Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Cristobal Flores arrived on the scene. He confiscated the drugs from Landry’s backpack and called a tow truck for the vehicle. He left Landry’s backpack and clothing in the street.
"He did a lousy job," said Jason Landry’s father, Kent Landry.
A member of the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office met up with the two men and briefly joined the search.
"...if this case were to need to be prosecuted, would this potentially impact the ability to do a prosecution?"
December 14, 2020
Kent Landry is Jason Landry’s first family member to arrive on scene.
When he gets to Salt Flat Road at dawn no one is searching for his son. He struggles to find his son’s vehicle and make contact with law enforcement. A licensed attorney, he records the scene before collecting his son’s belongings.
In the coming days, several members of the Landry family are in and out of the car Jason Landry crashed.
"My worry is, as a former attorney, if this case were to need to be prosecuted, would this potentially impact the ability to do a prosecution? Because you don't have, you know, the car being secured properly and all those kinds of questions that might come up?" said Kent Landry.
"There is no Luling connection."
December 13, 2020
San Marcos to Luling, Texas
The Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office were able to track Landry’s travel using Snapchat and Waze data.
"This is pretty consistent travel. I mean, it doesn't stop." he explained.
Ferry believes if something nefarious happened to Landry it happened after the crash. He believes that is unlikely.
"He's leaving Texas state and he's going to Missouri City, which is by Houston, a source city for narcotics. Literally just happens to be along the way there. Jason didn't know anybody in Luling. He's not talking to anybody in Luling. There is no Luling connection." he said.
"...all of the tanks in that area will have been drained."
December 13, 2020 - January 10, 2022
Searchers wear GPS trackers while looking for Landry. They have used drones to isolate white pixels and locate - so far, all have been animal. They also used drones to identify maggots feeding on decomposition. Ferry believes Landry’s remains were likely consumed by feral hogs or river otters. He said it is also possible Landry climbed inside an oil tank.
"That's private property. We don't have enough to require people to drain the tanks. And so we've asked the oil operators that are in the area to vacuum those things out. That is being done, but it's being done on their timeline. So, we feel comfortable saying within another year, all of the tanks in that area will have been drained." he said.
"Why would you do that?"
Missouri City, Texas
January 5, 2022
Kent Landry, increasingly frustrated by the lack of results in his son’s case told FOX 7 Austin he does not understand why the sheriff’s office chose to release much of the evidence - which he views as irrelevant, somewhat embarrassing personal information.
"If any individual, myself included you or anyone else and the government felt it 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. Why would you do that?"
He added, "That's not indicative of their general character or behavior, and I'm not sure what the purpose of it would be outside of casting aspersions about someone's character and then you're talking about character assassination, and then that would make that would be very. That would make us very angry."
Note: FOX 7 Austin has omitted and censored some evidence to protect identities and personal information.
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Search for missing Texas State student Jason Landry continues near Luling
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