Musician and activist Kelly Brannon was known by his loved ones as an independent soul, someone who marches to the beat of his own drum – and, from time to time, goes off the grid.
But the 36-year-old woman has always managed to get in touch with someone, mainly her mother. till now. Four months have passed without any word of Florida origin and many are left with more questions than answers.
According to the Live Oak Police Department, Kelly was last known at the Sunshine Inn in Sun Oak, Florida in the late evening of July 14 and early in the morning of July 15, 2020.
Earlier that week, Kelly and her boyfriend, Eddie Emerson, began a road trip, driving from the farm where they were living in Detroit, Michigan, near Gainesville in Misri, Florida, to a $ 2,000 fixer. – Had planned to buy the upper house.
“We were about to start a new chapter of our lives together,” Eddie told Dateline. “And then it happened.”
On July 9, 2020, the couple loaded Eddie’s Toyota pickup truck and Kelly’s Toyota Camry with their belongings, including their guitar, Eddie’s dog, and eight chickens that they were carrying north of the dog. He then led I-75.
But they did not get very far. About 77 miles into the trip, Eddie’s truck broke down after the transmission overheated, leaving them stranded in Suwanee County. Eddie told Dateline that he had the truck parked at a local car shop in Live Oak, Florida, and the couple decided to camp in the area for a few days while waiting for repairs.
However, the repairs took longer than expected, so on 14 July the couple decided to pay some money for a hotel room. While investigating the Sunshine Inn, Eddie said that he got into a debate about where he would keep his chickens while staying at the hotel.
“I found out that there is a grass spot in the shade for them, but Kelly wanted to bring them up to the room,” Eddie explained. “I already had my dog. We didn’t even need chickens in the room. We had a few days off and I was tired… so yes, I got angry. I threw my hat on the ground and screamed and we just kept arguing. “
He said Kelly angrily left in his car while he set the chickens outside to graze and then took them to rest in the room. While in the room, he said the argument continued over text messages, but Kelly eventually returned to the room with pizza and wine and made up.
“By the time she came back, we were both calm,” Eddie said. “When he saw that the chickens were alright, I think that calmed him down. I hugged him and everything seemed fine again.”
But as soon as the sun set, the couple’s argument ruled the chickens. Some stubborn chickens survived the machete pens outside the hotel, Eddie told Dateline, but when they couldn’t catch him, Eddie said he assured Kelly that they would meet him in the morning. But Kelly insists that they find all the chickens and bring them in, leading to another fight.
“I was tired of chasing chickens. And arguing, ”said Eddie. “So, I went to the hotel room to sleep.”
Eddie told Dateline that he received more angry texts from Kelly overnight. Around 10:30 pm, he stated that he had gone out to check on Kelly and found that he had been drinking and crying outside the hotel.
Eddie said, “I moved the key of his car from his waist so that he could not drive.” “I wasn’t really comforting him at the time, but I should be.”
This was the last time they saw Kelly.
Eddie said it was just after midnight when Kelly texted him, threatening to leave. He told her that she was taking her guitar, which is a left-handed Fender Stratocaster with a sunburned finish, her vehicle registration and a new bag of clothes.
“I was still in bed, when he texted me ‘I’m leaving’, I texted him back, ‘Why don’t you sleep,” and he said no, “Eddie explained.” So I’m just went to bed.”
In text messages to Dateline, Kelly told Eddie that he could “starve to death or be eaten by vultures jumping off the bridge or by vultures, like sharing a room with someone like you.”
“We both said many mean things to each other. And the biggest regret of my life is sleeping right now, ”Eddie told Dateline. “I should have been there to protect her. Make sure she was safe inside the room. “
The next morning Eddie said that he woke up to a voicemail from Kelly that he still plays. In the voicemail, which Eddie shared with Dateline, she says she found another room at the Sunshine Inn and reported her car stolen by Eddie because she was angry and took the key from him. Police later told Dateline that an official report was never filed by Kelly.
“I obviously should definitely do the Detroit thing on my own or go to Iceland,” he is heard saying in voicemail. “You are not a partner.”
Kelly announced that she was “sitting in the car.” His phone has since been switched off and his car was left open in the hotel, some of his belongings are still inside, including his purse, which according to police was the money and his ID.
Eddie said, “He did not take his purse, which contained the money and his ID or phone charger, which has been reported.” “She won’t last this very long without contacting me – even when she’s mad. She’ll contact someone, her mother or her friends.”
Cheryl Dumont went to school in New Hampshire with Kelly and the two have been friends for at least 25 years. She told Dateline that Kelly’s group of friends have spread the country through her travels over the years, but none of them have heard of Kelly.
“She is a free spirit and can definitely be stubborn,” Cheryl said. “But he won’t contact anyone for this long. Especially his mother.”
He said that Kelly’s mother, who is in her 70s, lives alone in New Hampshire and is still sad to lose Kelly’s father when Kelly was just five years old.
“It’s extremely hard for him,” Cheryl said. “Kelly was always in touch with her mother. And Kelly always made it home for Thanksgiving. But it’s just so long, and we have no answer. “
On July 15, Kelly’s boyfriend Eddie filed a missing person report with the Live Oak Police Department.
According to Captain Jason Rountree, the wooded areas around the hotel were searched by law enforcement officers. Hotel guests that evening told the officers that they had seen Kelly outside the hotel with his guitar, around the same time as he got out of the voicemail for Eddie.
During the months, Kelly’s sightings have been reported in Tallahassee, High Springs and Live Oak, as well as in Lake Park and Camilla, Georgia, according to Captain Rottree. But after collecting witness statements and security videos, Kelly’s presence could not be confirmed, he said. He said that if someone spots Kelly, call the local police immediately.
Capt. Rontree told Dateline that Kelly’s case is still an active investigation and that his absence with friends or family “longer than usual” has been a concern from the beginning.
“As a result, this investigation is being conducted with all possible results in the game,” Capt. Ronatry said. He insisted that investigators could not yet determine whether hooliganism was involved in his disappearance.
“Ever since Kelly was reported missing, all aspects and possible consequences have been continuously considered.” “As of this time there is no specific piece of information that takes us to determine – or to rule – that foul play has taken place. Equally, certainly about Kelly’s current situation Remains unknown. “
Capt. Rontree told Dateline that many people have been interviewed several times, including locals who came in contact with the couple in Suwanee County, hotel guests and Kelly’s boyfriend, Eddie’s time.
“, Eddie continues to be the main person interested in this investigation as a result of his relationship with KD”. “However, we have not dismissed the other person (s) during this investigation.”
After Kelly’s disappearance, Eddie stayed at Live Oak for four days in search of him, hanging out flyers and talking to locals. But without any clue or clue, he said that without Kelly, continued his journey north.
“I was thinking, I can’t believe I have to start my journey without Kelly,” Eddie said. “And I think I was hoping that maybe I would see him somewhere along the way – maybe hitchhiking. But I never did.”
It has been four months since Kelly left, but Eddie told Dateline that she would not stop searching for him. In September, he moved to Live Oak, Florida to continue the Fliggers and talk to locals. He recently traveled to New Hampshire to deliver Kelly’s goods to his mother.
“She loves her mom deeply and even when she was touring for a show, she would manage to call or email her mom,” Eddie said. “This is the saddest thing in the world. She is 74. This is killing him. “
Eddie is now Dracut, Massachusetts, and said he spends most of his time online and on the phone and is trying to get information that would lead him to his missing girlfriend.
A Facebook page “Missing Kelly Brannon” was created to help generate information and Bob Murray, a friend of Kelly’s, offered a private investigator as well as a $ 1,500 reward for information leading to his whereabouts Started a GoFundMe page.
In the comments on the page, Kelly’s friends say that she is the kind of person who has an idea and then that idea. Someone who is talented, jumps into creative projects, giving them all that. According to Kelly’s LinkedIn page, he is an independent artist, writer, filmmaker and musician.
“She gives him every single project,” Cheryl told Dateline. “She has a lot of goals, and when she sets her mind to something, she doesn’t stop until she accomplishes them.”
Cheryl said these goals, which include writing a book, along with her interest in current events such as recent political protests and presidential elections are reasons she doesn’t think her friend has gone off the grid.
“It is very worrying for them not to vote in this election,” Cheryl said. “He is a worker. And she would like to be a part of everything that has happened since this summer. “
After not receiving an answer for four months, Cheryl told Dateline that she was afraid of the worst outcome, but could not understand why someone would hurt her friend. Her friend, who she describes as a creative soul with a big heart, always rallied to help others.
She recalls a time when someone in Kelly’s neighborhood was on the verge of expulsion because they couldn’t afford the rent.
“Kelly said, ‘We have to do something,’ and organized a night to raise money,” Cheryl explained. “And he did it. He raised enough money to pay the rent. Who is he. When she sees someone struggling, she wants to help. “
Cheryl tells Dateline that they are stranded in search of Kelly and believes that it is taking someone further for information so that he can find her.
“Her mother wants everyone to know that she is very grateful for all the support and love during all this – and we still hope she stays home safe for Thanksgiving,” Cheryl said.
“We just want to know where he is,” he said, “and we want the best answer … but I’m afraid we won’t get the answer we want.”
Kelly is 5’5 ”tall, weighs about 130 pounds and has blue eyes and dark hair that is brown. He has a Chakra A tattoo on his right hand near his thumb. He was last seen wearing a white shirt and black shorts, carrying his guitar.
If you have any information about Kelly Brannon’s whereabouts, please call the Live Oak Police Department Criminal Investigation Division at 386-364-7463 or the Suwanee County Sheriff Office Dispatch at 386-362-2222. You can remain anonymous by contacting Suwannee County Crime Stoppers 386-208-8477 (TIPS).