CALDWELL COUNTY, TX (NewsNation Now) – December 13 marked a year since Texas State University student Jason Landry’s car was found crashed on a rural road near Luling, TX, and Landry was missing.
Tens of thousands of acres have been searched in the area since, but where Landry went that night remains a mystery.
On Monday, a poorly decomposed body was found 20 miles from where Landry went missing.
The remains have not been identified as those of Landry and have not yet been publicly identified.
Landry’s family acknowledged the discovery of these remains on their Missing Person Facebook page on Tuesday. They said local law enforcement held Landry’s dental and DNA records, so if it’s his body, it will be identifiable.
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Here is a timeline of the case:
December 13, 2020: Landry is missing
Jason Landry was on his way to his home in Missouri City for the Christmas vacation when law enforcement said they found his car on Salt Flat Road near Luling. The 21-year-old only made it about 30 miles from the college’s San Marcos campus.
Inside the wrecked Nissan Altima were Landry’s wallet, phone, and other belongings, but Landry was nowhere to be found.
Shortly after Landry went missing, search and rescue efforts began in the area.
December 17, 2020: Landry’s parents make a desperate appeal
Four days after the student went missing from Texas State University, Landry’s father, Kent, spoke to NewsNation affiliate KXAN as he and other family members helped official teams to search the area where Landry’s car had been found destroyed.
“We just want you to come home. Nothing else. Nothing else matters. I love you, son, ”Kent said.
At this point, agencies like Texas Search and Rescue, the Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Highway Patrol, the Texas State Police Department, and even local volunteers were spending entire days looking for Jason.
December 20, 2020: prayer vigil
Seven days after Landry went missing, a prayer vigil was held at Southminster Presbyterian Church in Missouri City.
“I’m standing here almost a week later and I still don’t know where my son is and I can’t tell you how difficult it is,” Kent said at the vigil. “What I feel is we are living every parent’s worst dream.”
January 29, 2021: cell phone data indicates Landry’s route
Weeks after Landry went missing, investigators released more details about his possible route using data from his cell phone.
That data showed Landry left his San Marcos apartment at 10:55 p.m. on December 13 for his return trip. Here’s a timeline of where his cell phone data followed him, as released by the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office.
- 11:05 p.m. – Landry drives his car on Hwy 80, passes under I-35 at San Marcos, continues south
- 11:07 PM – Enter Caldwell County
- 11:11 p.m. – Landry crosses Martindale, TX, continues south on Hwy 80
- 11:15 p.m. – Pass over State Highway 130 on Highway 80
- 11:17 p.m. – Traverse Fentress, TX, enters Prairie Lea, TX, two minutes later
- 11:21 p.m. – Enter Stairtown, Texas
- 11:24 PM – Enter the town of Luling on Hwy 80, cross the intersection of Hackberry Street (Hwy 80 here becomes Austin Street)
Landry then stops using the Waze app and opens Snapchat. He continued on Austin Street to the intersection with US Highway 183 or Magnolia Avenue, CCSO said. It is believed to have crossed the intersection and continued onto East Austin Street. It is at this intersection that Landry’s digital footprint ends.
Investigators also released photos and details of some of the personal items found at and near the crash site, including clothing, a watch and a backpack.
February 25, 2021: TEXSAR research for Landry resumes
More than 100 members of Texas Search and Rescue, or TEXSAR, set out on a three-day search in late February to find new clues as to what may have happened to Landry.
TEXSAR first searched nine days after Landry’s disappearance, according to the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office. Three days were devoted to aerial searches. Over 100 volunteers were able to cover 31,680 acres.
May 17, 2021: family offers $ 10,000 reward
Five months after Landry went missing, his family announced that they were offering $ 10,000 to anyone with information that could lead them to an answer on what happened to Landry.
Jason’s family made the announcement in a Facebook post, which read in part:
“This offer requires that the information provided by the requester be the direct and immediate cause of the location and return of Jason Landry. The information must be specific, adequate, timely, and actually used by law enforcement, search agencies, or other appropriate entities to find and return Jason to his family. The successful applicant must provide sufficient and clear written details to enable search and law enforcement teams to locate and remove Jason.“
Oct. 11, 2021: New points of interest identified
New research images were released in mid-October, around 10 months after the disappearance. By this point, there had been six searches covering 31,000 acres for Landry.
With the help of Texas state criminology researcher Dr. Kim Rossmo, investigators ran any drone footage they had into a computer program that tracked hundreds of anomalies.
The drone program analyzes these images and looks for color variations in the images, according to Jeff Ferry, an investigator with the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office.
Investigators use the color white to find bone fragments in the area where Landry went missing.
“We’re going to go back and determine if these are human remains or creatures,” Ferry said.
Through this process, the researchers named 86 points of interest.
Oct 16, 2021: Points of interest used for another search
More than 50 volunteers from TEXSAR and the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office (again scanned the area in October after dozens of points of interest were compiled in the case using drone footage, artificial intelligence and information gathered from previous research, among other resources.
Volunteers say it is difficult to navigate the land near Salt Flat Road due to the thick brush. It also made it harder to spot signs that Landry was nearby.
The recent weather, which has caused flooding in many areas, has added to the difficulty of the research.
Anyone with information on Landry’s disappearance is urged to contact Captain Jeff Ferry of the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office by calling (512) 398-6777 ext. 4504 or by emailing [email protected]