CALDWELL COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — There are new search images in the effort to find a Texas State student who went missing while driving home from school 10 months ago.
Jason Landry, 21, disappeared in 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. Landry’s car keys were found inside the ignition with his lights still on.
“As a parent, this is kind of the actual manifestation of our worst nightmare,” said Kent Landry, Jason’s father. “All of these missing persons cases are very prevalent. You turn on the news, and you’re drinking your cup of coffee, and then it hits you again that your child is not home.”
It’s been 301 days since the search efforts began for Landry.
Investigators said Landry left his San Marcos apartment at 10:55 p.m. on Dec. 13. He was using Waze to get home but opened Snapchat at one point, and his GPS tracking stopped.
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.
There have been six searches spanning across 31,000 acres for Landry.
With the help of Texas State Criminology Researcher Dr. Kim Rossmo, investigators have been able to put all of the drone imaging through a computer program that is tracking hundreds of anomalies.
The drone program analyzes those images and looks for color variations in the pictures, according to Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Jeff Ferry.
Ferry says the program can detect things like blue jeans in missing persons cases.
“We can tell the software ‘hey, find anything that looks like blue jeans.’ It helps to, very quickly, scan through hundreds and thousands of images to find those blue jeans,” said Ferry. “We don’t have that in this case, we believe Landry was naked, which made it more difficult to find color variations.”
Investigators are instead using the color white to find bone fragments across the area where Landry went missing.
“We’re going to go back and determine if those are human remains or critters,” said Ferry.
The thousands of acres have been nailed down to 86 points of interest where investigators believe he may be.
“There is nothing to indicate a crime occurred to Jason Landry. We believe Jason was driving in a single vehicle collision, and on all accounts, it looks like he voluntarily left the vehicle and took off his clothes, whether that was because of narcotics or a mental break, we don’t know,” said Ferry.
Investigators say they’ve ruled out a crime based on Landry’s social media accounts and evidence at the scene where he went missing. The Landry family is still holding out hope.
“The sheriff’s office believes this is a missing persons case, and he walked away, and they just haven’t found his body,” said Kent. “Private investigators think otherwise. On some level, I just hope he passed away peacefully that night, went to sleep with hypothermia and woke up in heaven.”
Investigators also found a backpack near Landry’s car with a “useable” amount of marijuana inside. They first told KXAN the drugs were possibly combined with an unknown hallucinogenic substance. Det. Ferry has since said DEA lab tests did not find any other substances inside the weed.
Investigators say there is a seventh search plan planned for Landry in the coming weeks.