LULING, Texas - Drivers going along Highway 183 from Luling to Lockhart now will see the face of Jason Landry on a billboard with case information on the Texas State student who went missing in December 2020 thanks to a group of volunteers.
Jason's father Kent Landry says, "People always ask, you know, how do you keep going in the midst of all of this? And our answer is simple it's the prayers and support of people like this."
People like Beverly Rains, a Gonzales grandmother who learned Jason's case on social media. "I've had my granddaughter who's 19, living with me off and on the last couple of years, and so I sympathize with a teenager or a young person being missing. And you know, we talk about it a lot, my granddaughter and I."
Rains recently helped negotiate a rental agreement to get Jason's case information and photograph on a billboard. She says she feels it's important that the Landrys or any family who has a missing person get some closure. She's working with a handful of people she through Facebook, and they're funding the project on their own.
"We had checked on billboards before they were out of reach on cost. This one happens to be on private property and he's a very nice man and gave us a good deal. So, uh it's not through an advertising company. That's why we're installing it ourselves," Rains says.
The billboard went up this weekend just north of downtown Luling and will continue to stand tall for at least three months. The gesture has deeply moved Jason's father Kent.
"At this point, you know, we simply want answers. We want the truth. And. That's what we keep praying for, and then people like the ones who are supporting this billboard, I think just want the same thing," Kent says.
"Even in the midst of all the craziness of today's world, there's still people doing great good out there out of the kindness of their hearts, and we're just so thankful for that. We really are and. And it's just a God sized thing," Kent adds.
Kent has been fighting tooth and nail every day since his son went missing over a year ago. He says he is amazed to see people care this much for his son.
"Just good-hearted people who overwhelmingly, most of them, have never met Jason. These people out of the kindness of their hearts, and they're paying it out of their pocket, to do this for us, and for our son," he said.
"It's not real big, but it's plenty big to be effective. It's in a great location," said Coleman Ryan, an IT forensic investigator who help put up the billboard. "We want answers for the Landry's. We think they deserve it."
The billboard lists the reward amount of $10,000 along with the number to the Attorney General’s Cold Case Missing Persons Division, 512-936-0742, in hopes of getting a new lead from those who drive by.
DISAPPEARANCE OF TEXAS STATE STUDENT JASON LANDRY
Investigators believe the 21-year-old planned to drive home from his apartment in San Marcos to Missouri City, a suburb of Houston. A timeline from the Caldwell County Sheriff's Office tracks Landry's movements from when he left his apartment in San Marcos to when his phone ceased pinging in Luling.
The timeline provided by CCSO is as follows:
- December 13, 2020, 10:55 p.m.: Landry leaves his apartment in San Marcos, headed to Missouri City
- December 13, 2020, 11:05 p.m.: Landry is driving on Hwy 80 and passes under I-35 in San Marcos
- December 13, 2020, 11:07 p.m.: Landry enters Caldwell County on Hwy 80, heading south
- December 13, 2020, 11:11 p.m.: Landry enters Martindale, still heading south on Hwy 80
- December 13, 2020, 11:15 p.m.: Landry passes over SH 130 on Hwy 80
- December 13, 2020, 11:17-11:21 p.m.: Landry passes through Fentress, Prairie Lea, and Stairtown
- December 13, 2020, 11:24 p.m.: Landry enters Luling on Hwy 80.
CCSO says that as Landry went through the intersection at Hackberry Street where Hwy 80 becomes Austin Street, he stopped using the Waze app and began using Snapchat.
Landry then continued on Austin St. to the intersection with U.S. 183, also known as Magnolia Avenue, and CCSO says investigators believe he continued straight through that intersection, continuing onto E. Austin, but at this intersection, his digital footprint stops. Landry then continued on E. Austin onto Spruce Street, which turns into Salt Flat Road.
A volunteer firefighter found Jason Landry’s car crashed and abandoned on the 2300 block around 12:30 a.m. on December 14, says CCSO. The vehicle's lights were still on. A highway patrol trooper had Jason’s car towed. He took his backpack, which contained a few joints, and left.
Hours later, Jason Landry's father Kent Landry found his way to Salt Flat Road. He expected to see flashing police lights and his son. Instead, the road was dark and empty. "I saw deer, three different sets of deer ran by. Coyotes ran by and I didn’t see another car, another person."
The clothing Jason Landry had been wearing, his shoes, even his underwear, were scattered throughout the street. "I found [my son’s] fish. I found where the accident was, and I’m the only one who took pictures or video of that." he said.
Kent Landry was able to locate his son’s vehicle at an impound lot. His cellphone was still in the car. No one was searching for him. Kent Landry added, "[the accident scene is] the middle of nowhere. In that hour window, it may very well be possible that there’s not another person in that box except Jason and whoever did whatever they did. Whoever else is involved in this case."
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