San Marcos, TX

1 year ago, a student vanished while driving home to surprise his parents for Christmas. What happened to Jason Landry?

Fatim Hemraj

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Jason took a short video of himself on the day he disappearedNBC News

Jason Landry was a student at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. An extrovert, the 21-year-old was an adventurous musician and artist who loved the outdoors and marched to the beat of his own drum.

After finishing up final exams, Jason decided to surprise his parents for the holidays. On December 13, 2020, he left San Marcos at 10:55 pm and began the 3-hour drive to Missouri City. Sadly, Jason never made it.

At 1:30 am, Kent and Lisa Landry received an alarming phone call — one they would never forget. Their son was missing.

An hour earlier, a volunteer firefighter stumbled upon Jason’s totalled Nissan Altima on the dark and desolate Salt Flat Road, 2 miles outside of Luling, Texas. The keys were in the ignition and the headlights were on but there was no sign of Jason.

According to The Vanished Podcast, An investigation concluded he lost control of the vehicle and crashed into both a tree and a barbed-wire fence.

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Jason Landry’s carNBC News

At 4:30 am, Kent arrived at Salt Flat Road and found his son’s clothing and backpack strewn about just 900 feet from his car. According to ABC News, the only blood found at the scene was a drop on the band of Jason’s underwear and shorts leading authorities to conclude any injuries he did sustain were survivable.

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Jason’s clothes and backpack were found 900 feet from his carNBC News

According to NBC News, Jason’s jacket, phone and wallet were found inside his car, along with a tumbler containing his dead Betta fish. Inside his backpack was a Playstation gaming console, a laptop and a small amount of marijuana.

An examination of Jason’s phone determined he was using an app called Waze for directions. At 11:24 pm, he was sitting at the intersection of Austin Street and Magnolia Avenue when he received a Snapchat. After Jason opened Snapchat, his digital footprint suddenly went silent.

Jason was supposed to make a right turn at the intersection. Instead, he continued straight for 4 miles, turned right at Soda Springs Road and ended up at Salt Flat Road, a poorly lit rural area surrounded by wells, ranchers and bodies of water. Jason’s parents believe he simply missed the turn and was attempting to turn around when he spun off the road and crashed his car.

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Google Maps

It was unseasonably cold at the time and despite freezing temperatures of 24°F (-4°C), Jason was only wearing a t-shirt, shorts and sandals. Authorities theorized he removed his clothes in what is called paradoxical undressing, a common reaction to hypothermia.

Several bodies of water were drained, cadaver dogs were deployed, and searches were conducted via foot, helicopter, drones and even horseback within a 50-mile radius, but Jason was nowhere to be found.

According to News Nation Now, the Landrys hired private investigator Abel Pena, a former FBI agent, who believes Jason wasn’t alone in the car the night he went missing. He is confident a tower dump of all cellphones active in the area could either pinpoint a suspect or rule the theory out altogether.

Unfortunately, a tower dump requires a Geofence warrant but without any indication of a crime having occurred, the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office refuses to grant a warrant application, citing an invasion of privacy.

A petition can be located here.

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Jason LandryFacebook

This month marks the 1 year anniversary of Jason's disappearance. Although his loved ones believe he is no longer alive, they continue to pray for a Christmas miracle.

Jason is 6'1" tall and 170 lbs with brown hair and brown eyes. He had facial hair at the time of his disappearance and was last wearing a red t-shirt, black shorts, slides and a ballcap. All of his clothes were recovered at the scene.

If you have any information regarding Jason Landry's disappearance, contact the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office at (512) 398–6777 or Abel Pena at (726) 777–1359. A $10,000 reward is available.

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