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Episode Scripts – Jason Landry

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Hey, little skeletons! I’m Gina – And I’m Amber! – and this is Weird True Crime! (music intro) 

Amber: Closure. After an emotional or traumatic experience, one seeks closure to put the event behind them. 

Gina: Unfortunately, a lot of the families we talk about get their closure only because their loved one is gone from this earth forever – taken from them by someone else who (hopefully) is paying for their crime, but not every family gets closure. 

Amber: How do you move on when your loved one vanishes in the middle of the night without a trace never to be seen again? The family of Jason Landry wonders every day what happened to him on the night of December 13, 2020, and continues to hold hope that one day, they will be reunited whether it be here, or in heaven.

Gina: Jason Landry was born on July 29, 1999, as the third child to Kent and Lisa Landry. When he was a child, he had been diagnosed with ADD and was described as a handful, as would most other parents of children with ADD. Jason was a charmer and knew how to use his smile to get away with things. His mother also said that he was sweet and loving. When Jason went to high school, he played all the low brass instruments such as the baritone and tuba. He aspired to go to college and pursue music production. Jason first went to Sam Houston State, in Huntsville, Texas. The taste of freedom went to his head though, and he spent more time with friends and his girlfriend at the time instead of studying. After a year, he returned home and went to junior college to focus on improving his grades and figuring out what he wanted to do with his life. His love for music led him to Texas State University. Texas State is located in San Marcos, Texas (and also happens to be my alma mater) and has an excellent sound engineering program. The transition wasn’t easy though, and the worsening Covid pandemic had a huge impact on his experience. After he moved into an apartment with two other students, the campus shut down. 

Amber: I can only imagine how strange of an experience it would have been to go to school during that time. I would assume a much different experience than what you had while you were there. 

Gina: Absolutely. He never got to go to class or be on campus. He was also quarantined twice because of exposure from those living near him. As a very extroverted person, never interacting with fellow students or professors in person was extremely hard on Jason. He also didn’t receive instruction or video lectures from his professors, and the lack of direction made him lost and bored. This is not what he expected life to be like when he moved to San Marcos. His father, Kent, told The Vanished podcast that his isolation and boredom during this time led him to smoke a lot of pot and that a lot of college students were self-medicating in some form or another to help them cope with the situation. This is supposed to be one of the most exciting times of your life as a young adult – parties, constant social events, and time on campus making connections. Instead, Jason and other college students across the country were stuck in their dorm rooms or apartments, staring at the same walls day in and day out. Jason got a job at Jimmy John’s, a sandwich shop to break up the monotony and see people. His mom, Lisa, said he did enjoy working there and it gave him something to look forward to. With the Christmas holiday fast approaching, both of Jason’s roommates had left for break. Bored and alone with no solid plans about when he was returning home for the holidays, Jason spent time talking to friends on Facetime and texting his mom his Christmas list. Jason had a penchant for funny socks and made sure to specify that they needed to be unique, not just covered in cat heads.  On December 13, 2020, Jason decided he was tired of being alone in his apartment, and told a friend from home he was going to pack his video game gear and make the drive to his house in Missouri City. It’s important to note that his parents were not aware that he was headed back to their area that night. Kent and Lisa told Jason and his brother to come back whenever they wanted that week and weren’t expecting him home so early. At roughly 10:55 pm Jason Landry left his apartment in San Marcos. His cell phone pinged along Highway 80 multiple times as he entered small towns like Fentress, Prairie Lea, and Stairtown. Around 11:24 pm, he stopped using the navigational app, Waze, and switched over to Snapchat when he entered Luling, still on Highway 80. It’s at this point that Highway 80 turns into Austin Street. When he arrived at the intersection of Austin Street and Magnolia avenue, he should have taken a right turn toward Highway 183 and continued his drive toward Missouri City. But instead, he continued going straight. Oddly enough though, his digital footprint stops here. He had only made the drive from San Marcos to Missouri City two times, and never at night. His parents said he was horrible with directions and couldn’t get anywhere without using GPS, so it’s strange that he would stop using the navigation app. About an hour later, a volunteer firefighter was driving home and spotted Jason’s wrecked 2003 Nissan Altima in the 2300 block of Salt Flat Road. The car was seemingly abandoned, so he called in to report it at 12:31 a.m. (time stamp:24 to :45/46)

Amber: It was about an hour later around 1:30 am when Texas Department of Public Safety troopers responded to the scene. The vehicle was found in the ditch with the headlights on, keys in the ignition, and the front passenger door locked. The car was no longer drivable, but the crash was survivable and an investigation of the road where the crash happened indicated that it appeared Jason had possibly overcorrected on the gravel road, lost control, and spun out. Investigators suspected he had hit a tree before crashing into a barbed wire fence. The rear window of the vehicle was broken out, most likely due to the impact of hitting the tree because there were no other markings or indications that another vehicle was involved. The volunteer firefighter who discovered the vehicle nor the trooper who responded to the scene entered Jason’s vehicle and it was towed to an impound yard. At roughly 2:00 am, Kent and Lisa Landry received a phone call that every parent dreads. Since they were the ones Jason’s vehicle was registered to, the police called to inform them that the vehicle had been found – minus their son. Lisa used the find my phone feature and located Jason’s cell phone as he was not answering. Kent left and began the drive to where the car had been towed so he could claim it. Once able to enter the lot (they were closed when he first arrived) he makes his way to the vehicle and enters it from the unlocked driver’s side door. He finds Jason’s phone in between the seat and the center console. Did it fall when Jason crashed? Or had it fallen when he switched from Waze to Snapchat at the intersection in Luling? Kent then takes his son’s phone and heads to where the crash site was to look for himself. To his surprise, no one was on the scene when he arrived. The responders had already returned home and gone to sleep. Kent decided to explore the area himself hoping to find his son. Instead, he discovers some of his son’s belongings still left behind at the site. The first responders had noticed the items previously but didn’t bother picking them up. In a cell phone video taken, about 900 feet from the crash in the middle of the road, there is Jason’s backpack (a DPS trooper does take this as evidence). Another 100 feet away from there are clothes Jason was believed to be wearing that night – his t-shirt, shorts, socks, underwear, and slide sandals all left behind. Kent said he knew they were Jason’s clothes immediately because of the socks. Jason loved crazy socks, and these specific ones had Spongebob all over them.

Gina: Jason crashed, began walking, and stripped off his clothing? 

Amber: That’s what it appeared like. The authorities discovered a single blood smear on his underwear and another on his shorts. Jeff Ferry, the Caldwell County Sheriff, stated that because the driver side door was pushed against a barbed wire fence, Jason probably pushed his way out of the car with his hip and got poked by the fence. The location of the blood on his clothes lines up this this theory. The crash wasn’t serious enough to deploy the air bags but Jason could have sustained a concussion in the crash. No blood was found at the crash scene or in the vehicle either. Bear in mind though, in December in Texas at night, it was 30-40 degrees outside with 20 mile-per-hour winds. 

Gina: Jason’s wristwatch, ball cap, a plastic bag of toiletries, and a tumbler with his deceased pet beta fish were also discovered near the crash site. Jason had been known to bring his fish home in that manner so it wasn’t left for an extended period when he was away from college for a break. Inside his backpack, authorities found his wallet, a small amount of marijuana, a laptop, gaming equipment, and a few other personal items. With all of these things present and accounted for it made it seem that there wasn’t any sort of robbery or mugging that had taken place either. The authorities believed that Jason was under the influence and had just fled. Kent Landry believes that Jason may have sustained a head injury in the crash and couldn’t see due to being on a dark road with no street lights. The sky was also cloudy that night from the cold front, blocking any light from the moon or stars. Texas Search and Rescue (TEXSAR) led the search starting on December 14 in the area. It was a remote area and much of it was around a large oil field dating back to the 1920s. A lot of old wells, salt water disposal, wells that were never covered so they were just holes in the ground, lots of creeks, and steep banks meant there were a lot of places someone could get lost in. The search team didn’t allow volunteers to help initially as they didn’t want to disturb any scents the dogs may have been able to find. The dogs tracked his scent to a nearby abandoned house, but Jason wasn’t inside. Drones and helicopters were deployed to scan the area for any heat signatures. An anomaly was detected in a nearby pond about half a mile away from the crash site, so they began the long process of draining the pond to see if they could find him. Kent and Jason’s brother, Kyle, were able to stay near the site in the county judge’s personal RV as they waited for answers. Draining the pond took longer than expected and they believed that the initial thing seen on sonar was a group of turtles – but 5 scent dogs all made their way and alerted at the pond so they continued on. By 3:00 pm on December 18th, the pond had been drained and from what they could tell, Jason was not there. They brought in teams to further examine the pond and try to figure out why the dogs all led them to it before. On the following morning, another search team of about 40 people including 10 K-9 units continued looking for any signs of Jason. The Caldwell County Sheriff’s office turned their attention to Jason’s vehicle to see if there was any other information they could find from it. They were able to obtain a search warrant for his digital data (cell phone information and social media accounts) which is how they were able to put his timeline of travel together before it ended at the intersection of Austin and Magnolia. 

Amber: So they didn’t find Jason in the immediate vicinity and they didn’t find his body in the pond… were they able to get any useful information off of his car or cell phone data?

Gina: The vehicle didn’t give them anything they hadn’t determined earlier and the cell phone provided them with the timeline they established of his travel path from when he left up until it ended. They were still left with a lot more questions than answers, but there were a few theories they were working on. 

Amber: The first theory started during their search for Jason out on the land near the crash site. Feral pigs. 300/400 lb feral pigs had been spotted in the area. There are documented cases of pigs consuming people – dead or alive. One such story was that of a 69-year-old farmer named Terry Vance Garner who had gone out to feed his pigs and never returned. When his family went searching for him, all they were able to find were pieces of his body, and his dentures located in the pig enclosure. They were unable to determine if he had been attacked by the pigs or if he had a medical emergency but figured he had fallen and the pigs took over. Unfortunately, if this was the case for Jason, especially considering that he was most likely naked, they wouldn’t be searching for a body – they would be searching for whatever remains they could find of him. 1,000s of drone images were taken of the surrounding areas. Animals are known to scatter remains over distances as opposed to clumped right together. The images were then run through a program that was set to detect pixel recognition for bone or white pixels. There were a total of 87 points of bones they were able to identify from those images – no human remains were found though. Police believe that after he crashed, he disrobed and wandered off. 

Gina: If that was the case you would think they would have been able to locate him pretty quickly as he was supposedly naked and barefoot. 

Amber: Right, which led them to their next theory. Possibly an abduction? 

Gina: Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office Captain Jeff Ferry had said in an interview that there was no evidence of a crime and he believed that Jason was under the influence, took a wrong turn, crashed, exited his vehicle, took off his clothes and wandered off in the near-freezing temperatures where he was consumed by wild hogs. He said, “I don’t think the hogs are what killed him, but hogs are opportunistic. If a hog encounters a meal, especially in December, I don’t think he’s going to pass that up.” This way of thinking made Jason’s father feel that the police were just writing it off and that the case was “under-investigated.” Kent was not the only one who felt that way. Abel Peña worked for the FBI for 26.5 years and retired in 2017. He heard about Jason’s disappearance a couple of days after he went missing as his daughter went to Texas State and he reached out to the Landrys to offer assistance – Pro-Bono. “We strongly believe that something happened at that intersection that caused him to go down that road that night, or perhaps, he was not driving the car that night and someone else may have been driving that car,” Peña said in an interview. After having driven the path that Landry took, it was hard to believe that anyone who didn’t live there or know the area would travel the road – so because of that Peña and his team asked for a Geo-Fence warrant to be issued. The warrant would then allow them to figure out what cell phones were active in the immediate area of Jason’s disappearance which could help them identify potential suspects, leads, or witnesses. According to a now-closed petition, it said that Peña’s team uncovered circumstantial evidence that Jason was not alone at the time of his disappearance. A press release from the Office of the Attorney General from December 2022 stated that a geofence warrant had been obtained. The “OAG’s Cold Case and Missing Persons Unit conducted a thorough review of all previously known credible information, interviewed multiple witnesses, consulted with experts in digital forensics and accident reconstruction, and obtained a geofence search warrant near the area where Mr. Landry’s vehicle was found. Based upon this extensive review and the evidence known at this point, the OAG supports the conclusions previously stated by the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office: Mr. Landry appears to have been involved in a single-car accident and there is no evidence to suggest that another vehicle was involved. The search warrant yielded no activity near the crash site and did not provide any additional information.” 

Amber: Well, that’s sort of disappointing they didn’t learn anything helpful – at least the warrant was eventually obtained though. 

Gina: I know. Nine days after his disappearance, the search was suspended as they had searched for Jason in every accessible, reasonable, and practical place that he might have been. They used a helicopter with infrared cameras, drones, side-scan sonar, and scent dogs, as well as searches on foot, ATVs, and horseback. Miles and miles were covered and no signs of Jason were found. It’s good to know that despite all of that, the Cold Case and Missing Persons unit agreed to look into it again. 

Amber: There was still one more possible theory talked about which would also lend an explanation to why Jason’s clothes were found on the road in a pattern that indicated he undressed as he was walking. Hypothermia. It was unusually cold the night of December 13th and into the early hours of December 14th. Temperatures hovered right around 43 degrees eventually dropping to around 35 degrees. It was also windy that night and Jason’s rear windshield had been busted during the crash. When authorities investigated his vehicle later, they found his heater had been on as well. Did he wreck, get knocked unconscious and when he woke up, try to stay warm in the car while he figured out his next move? While he was knocked out, had hypothermia set in? He was only wearing a t-shirt and shorts (which if you live in Texas isn’t uncommon throughout the entire year as it rarely gets cold enough for anything warmer) but he wasn’t prepared to be exposed to the elements that night. Hypothermia is a condition that occurs when the temperature in the core of the body (as opposed to the limbs) drops to 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celsius) or lower. As hypothermia sets in, you begin to shiver, and your coordination can be off. It can also make you feel dazed, confused, or disoriented. Lots of the behaviors can be compared to how someone acts when they are drunk – even with slurred speech. When hypothermia becomes severe enough, respiration and heart rate can drop to dangerous levels which can lead to unconsciousness or death. Hypothermia can make you do some really strange things. One of the bizarre behaviors observed that could be a last-ditch effort for survival is called “terminal burrowing.” When warm-blooded animals hibernate, they often dig or burrow into a small enclosed den. Being in a tight space helps contain their body heat and helps minimize heat loss. Well, when humans are experiencing severe hypothermia, we can exhibit similar behavior. You would seek safety by burrowing. In the area where Jason disappeared, there were large oil tanks. Unfortunately, there are hundreds there, and in their rotation, it would take 2 years to drain them all to check. Another bizarre behavior is paradoxical undressing. Your body tries to take certain measures to protect itself. Shivering, as mentioned earlier, is your body’s way of trying to raise your core temperature. With hypothermia to try to combat the heat loss from your limbs, your body will induce vasoconstriction, which means the small muscles in your blood vessels constrict, slowing the blood flow. Just as with all muscles tensing, these muscles will become exhausted over time and relax causing warm blood to rush from your core to your limbs again. This will cause a sensation of a sort of hot flash making you feel hot. People who are already confused or disoriented will instinctively remove their clothing to try to cool back down. Paradoxical undressing typically occurs immediately before burrowing. 

Gina: That really does sound crazy and I can only hope that is not what Jason experienced. 

Amber: Exactly. Jason’s parents and his family have come to terms with the fact that there is a strong possibility that Jason is no longer alive, but regardless, they want to know the truth about what happened to him and will keep searching until they have their answers. 

Gina: With so many questions left unanswered, it leaves a lot of room for rumors and misinformation to be spread. In the moments leading up to Jason leaving his apartment and heading for home, he was on a FaceTime call with one of his friends. The friend screen-recorded the call with the intention of showing it to Jason later because he was acting so out of it. In the video, Jason is seen rolling a couple of joints (which the police would later discover in his backpack) and talking very animatedly. He appears to be in good spirits, but incredibly high and also somewhat sweaty. His friend, who he was driving to see that night, said they were talking about spirituality and opening Jason’s third-eye with the use of different hallucinogens. Before the call is over, Jason throws on a different t-shirt (which appears to be the one that was found on the road) and a hat. When the cops searched through his cell phone data, they discovered that an hour before he left his apartment, he was google searching “how long can you live in the wilderness without food?” and “how long can you go without water?” Jason’s parents knew that he wasn’t the type to run away with telling anyone – and if he did, he would have taken his PlayStation, phone, and wallet with him. The cops wondered if he had had some sort of psychedelic break but Kent said in an interview that he was well aware of his son smoking pot, and that coping with Covid made for weird bedfellows. Smoking pot and chatting with friends could lead to interesting topics of conversation. Smoking pot also doesn’t equate to being a druggie on the verge of a psychedelic break. The family has had their fair share of ups and downs – from getting their hopes up to being disappointed yet again.

Amber: An anonymous resident from Hackberry Avenue in Luling alerted authorities on February 9, 2023, around 5:45 pm that their family dog had been bringing bones into their yard for a few days and the homeowner had been collecting them and putting them in a plastic bag thinking they belonged to an animal. However, while mowing the lawn, they discovered a human skull under the trampoline and called the police. Since this was only a few miles away from the scene of Jason’s accident, the information and remains were turned into the cold case unit of the Attorney General’s Office. On Friday, February 10, searchers attempted to locate the rest of the remains and even put a tracker on the family’s dog, but unfortunately, nothing else was located at that time. The following day around 1:45 pm more remains were discovered inside a small three-sided metal shelter in the woods located about 100 yards from the family’s home. Luling Police Chief W.J. “Bill” Salas stated, “It was obviously an abandoned structure. But, there was a small tent inside and some food cans and other bottles and things.” Investigators were led to believe that whoever the remains belonged to could have possibly been homeless, but it was inconclusive at that time. The remains were sent to the Center for Human Identification – but, using dental records, they were already able to rule out the possibility of the remains belonging to Jason Landry. “When they examined the photographs initially the upper jaw did not have any teeth in it, to the point where the jaw had started to basically heal itself. So, they suspected it was an older person,” Salas also said. 

Gina: That was the most recent time the family thought they could get answers. An earlier occurrence happened on July 22, 2022, around 6:30 in the morning when a man in New York was found unconscious on the street. Police indicated that he seemed uninjured but also without a photo ID. To try to identify him, NYPD tweeted a picture of him on July 26th asking for assistance. It didn’t take long for internet sleuths to point out that the unknown man had a striking resemblance to the missing Jason Landry. A post from the Missing Person – Jason Landry Facebook group stated “The detectives at the Texas AG’s office are in contact with the detectives in New York about Jason. They have already sent the necessary ID information for Jason to NY. The people in NY should be able to positively conclude whether this young man is Jason or not later today. Thank you to everyone who have contacted us to let us know about this young man. Please be in prayer for whoever this young man is and his family. We pray that he’ll be identified, recover and be able to rejoin his family.” The following day, however, he was identified as a man from Yonkers and in fact, not Jason Landry.

Amber: In the documentary “Never Seen Again” Lisa Landry said: “If he’s in heaven, he’s there and we’ll be there one day, and we’ll all be together and we’ll have eternity together…” If you have any information on the disappearance of Jason Landry, contact the Cold Case and Missing Persons Unit at There is also a  GoFundMe page called “Two Years Is Too Long,” where supporters are trying to raise money to double the reward for information regarding Jason’s disappearance. We’ll link to it in the show notes. We can only hope that one day the family will have the answers and closure they’ve been waiting for for over 835 days. 

Gina: Have you joined the Weird True Crime Podcast Group on Facebook yet? We’d love to chat with you there. Don’t forget to head over to Instagram and follow us @weirdtruecrime to see pictures from this week’s case, previous cases, and the greatest memes on the internet. If you love what we’re doing here in our little corner of chaos, leave us a 5-star rating and review on your favorite podcast app. Can’t leave a review on the app? No problem, email it to us at! Send us your reviews, personal stories of either the true crime or spooky variety, or other weird tales. Tune in next week when we lighten things up again with another WTF Wednesday.

Until next time, stay safe – make good choices – bye!!

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