Cell phone data tracks missing Texas State student Jason Landry’s route before his disappearance

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Photos of missing Texas State student Jason Landry (Caldwell County Sheriff's Office Photos)

Photos of missing Texas State student Jason Landry (Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office Photos)

LULING, Texas (KXAN) — More details have been released in the ongoing search for missing Texas State University student Jason Landry, including cell phone data tracking his travel before his car crashed.

Landry, 21, disappeared in mid December on his way home to Missouri City, Texas, after he crashed his car off Salt Flat Road near Luling. The car was found abandoned and so were some personal belongings including clothing, his cell phone, wallet and a backpack.

Cell phone data tracks Landry’s route

Investigators said Landry left his San Marcos apartment at 10:55 p.m. on Dec. 13 for his journey home. Here’s a timeline of where his cell phone data tracked him, as released by the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office.

  • 11:05 p.m. – Landry drives his car on Highway 80, passes under I-35 in San Marcos, continues south
  • 11:07 p.m. – Enters Caldwell County
  • 11:11 p.m. – Landry drives through Martindale, Texas, continues south on Highway 80
  • 11:15 p.m. – Passes over State Highway 130 on Highway 80
  • 11:17 p.m. – Travels through Fentress, Texas, enters Prairie Lea, Texas, two minutes later
  • 11:21 p.m. – Enters Stairtown, Texas
  • 11:24 p.m. – Enters the City of Luling on Highway 80, goes through the intersection of Hackberry Street (Highway 80 becomes Austin Street here)

Landry then stops using the Waze app and opens Snapchat. He continued on Austin Street to the intersection with U.S. Highway 183 or Magnolia Avenue, CCSO said. It’s believed he went through the intersection and continued on East Austin Street. It’s at this intersection that Landry’s digital footprint stops.

Deputies believe after then, he continued on East Austin Street to Spruce Street, which turns into Salt Flat Road, where his car was found 31 minutes after midnight in the 2300 block of the road.

Investigators are now looking to flesh out what happened in the approximate 67-minute window between his cell phone data stopping and the discovery of the crash. The sheriff’s office said his phone had signal and was on, so investigators are still trying to figure out why it appears unused since the Magnolia Avenue intersection.

Investigators are also still waiting on some search warrants from social media and tech companies to be returned, CCSO said.

Personal items found abandoned

The sheriff’s office said Landry’ car was found abandoned with the lights on and keys still in the ignition. The front passenger side door was locked.

Investigators believe the crash only involved Landry’s car and was most likely caused by overcorrecting on a gravel road, then spinning off the road and eventually hitting a couple trees and barbed wire fence.

First responders didn’t enter the car when it was found, CCSO said. It was first towed to an impound yard, and the next morning Landry’s father, who is the registered owner went inside, and found the phone between the driver’s seat and the center console.

His father, Kent, also went to the scene of the crash and found Landry’s clothing, including a shirt, socks, shorts, underwear, slides and a wristwatch, about 900 feet from the crash site in the road. Investigators believe he was wearing the clothes before the crash. There are no signs the clothing was removed forcibly or through coercion, the sheriff’s office said.

The items were collected by Kent and later released to investigators for processing, CCSO said. Only a single blood spot was found, which was small and did not point to serious bodily injury.

CCSO said about 900 feet from the crash, a backpack, a ball cap, a plastic bag of personal toiletries and a tumbler with Landry’s dead beta fish were also found. These were located north of the clothing found by Landry’s father.

Photo showing where Jason Landry's personal items were found on Salt Flat Road (Caldwell County Sheriff's Office Photo)
Photo showing where Jason Landry’s personal items were found on Salt Flat Road (Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office Photo)

Inside the backpack was the wallet, a “useable” amount of marijuana, a laptop and gaming equipment, the sheriff’s office said.

“Any report stating that the backpack was ‘filled’ with narcotics is inaccurate. The small amount of marijuana has been seized and is being held,” the sheriff’s office stated in a press release.

There’s still a possibility the weed was combined with an unknown hallucinogenic substance, deputies said.

Joints of marijuana found in Jason Landry's backpack (Caldwell County Sheriff's Office Photo)
Joints of marijuana found in Jason Landry’s backpack (Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office Photo)

The car was processed for any DNA or blood evidence with the help of the Texas Rangers. No evidence of blood inside the car was found, and there’s no evidence Landry was heading to meet with someone in the Luling area.

Search efforts

The sheriff’s office, which is now the lead agency on the case, has been working with the Texas Rangers and a team of retired federal agents/private investigators in order to locate Landry. The office said while its investigators are not specialized in search and rescue, they are consulting with experts and other agencies.

The sheriff’s office said Landry’s family and ex-girlfriend have been cooperative and helpful in the investigation. CCSO clarified they are not suspects or persons of interest in the case, and as of right now, there is no evidence an unknown person of interest was involved in the incident.

Hundreds of hours of surveillance videos from in and around Luling were also reviewed, the sheriff’s office said, and none have offered up any evidence. If you have cameras on private property, you are encouraged to look through it, CCSO advises.

They are continuing to ask for the public’s help in the case and to provide any details that may contribute to the investigation. Anyone with information can reach out to the listed investigators:

  • Det. Jeff Ferry with the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office: (512) 398-6777 ext. 4516, jeff.ferry@co.caldwell.tx.us
  • Investigator Abel Pena with PM Investigations: (210) 954-1476, pminvestigations9221@gmail.com
  • Investigator Tuleta Copeland with Leverage Investigations at Justice@LeverageInvestigations.com

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