Atlanta, GA

"He Wanted To Be A Star." He Was Found In The California Desert With All Of His Organs Missing

The Vivid Faces of the Vanished
Ryan SingletonPhoto byCrime Door

Ryan Singleton was a model from Atlanta, Georgia. Since he was young, he "wanted to be a star," his mother, Iris Flowers, remembers, reports WUSA 9. When Ryan was 21 years old, he left Atlanta and went to New York to pursue his dream.

"I saw it on Facebook where he was walking down the runway Fashion Week with a pair of gold shorts on. I’m like, alright, he is doing what he wants to do," Iris said, reports WUSA 9.

After living in New York, Ryan packed up a U-Haul with some friends and moved to Los Angeles. He lived in LA for a while but eventually moved back to New York. After a brief stay in New York, Ryan moved back home to Atlanta.

In July 2013, Ryan flew from Atlanta to Los Angeles for a weekend trip. While in LA, Ryan rented a car and drove to Las Vegas. On his way back from Las Vegas, the rental car broke down in Death Valley. A highway patrol officer saw Ryan walking on the highway and gave him a ride to an Arco gas station in Baker, California. Ryan called a friend in Los Angeles to pick him up. When the friend arrived in Baker, Ryan had disappeared. His friend drove back to Los Angeles and filed a missing person report, according to WUSA 9.

Seventy-four days later, on September 21, 2013, two men were walking in the desert west of Baker, California when they discovered human remains. The body of Ryan Singleton was found two miles from the gas station where he was last seen.

The autopsy was conducted by the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department on September 22, 2013. There was no trauma noted in the autopsy report, but the coroner stated, "several bones appear to have been removed from the body by animal activity," reports WUSA 9.

All of Ryan's organs were missing. His eyes, liver, heart, and some ribs were gone.

His body weighed 50 pounds and was "nearly completely skeletonized," reports WUSA 9. The coroner listed his death as "undetermined due to advanced decomposition," reports WUSA 9.

In May 2017, Iris Flowers told 11Alive she felt her son was taken for "illegal organ trafficking."

"Until someone proves me differently, I have nothing else to go on," she told 11Alive.

The cause of death for Ryan Singleton has never been determined and what happened to him in the California desert remains a mystery.

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