Search for missing Texas State student Jason Landry complicated by flooding

Texas

CALDWELL COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — The search for a Texas State University student who’s been missing for roughly 10 months resumed Saturday during a one-day search of the areas surrounding Salt Flat Road near Luling.

More than 50 volunteers with Texas Search and Rescue (TSAR) and the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) were sweeping the area after dozens of points of interest were compiled in the case using drone images, artificial intelligence and information gathered during previous searches, among other resources.

The search happened near where Jason Landry, 21, disappeared in mid December on his way home to Missouri City, Texas. His car was found wrecked and abandoned on Salt Flat Road, according to CCSO. It had some of Landry’s belongings, like his cell phone and backpack, in it.

Jason Landry (Caldwell County Sheriff's Office Photos)
Jason Landry (Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office photos)

Volunteers say terrain near Salt Flat Road is difficult to navigate because of how thick the brush is. That also makes it more difficult to spot any signs that Landry was nearby.

TSAR volunteer walking through brush
A TSAR volunteer walks through brush searching near the place Jason Landry’s car was found wrecked and abandoned (KXAN/Grace Reader)

“The weeds here are pretty difficult to walk through. You have to basically cut a path,” said Joe Huston, a search and rescue K9 handler out at the search.

Adding to this, volunteers were also dealing with the remnants of flooding.

According to the National Weather Service, the Luling area got roughly eight inches of rain earlier this week when a large storm system moved through Texas. Several roads in the area of the search were still closed Saturday morning for that reason.

“The terrain is exceedingly muddy, it rained the other day,” Huston said. “In places we have to go up to probably mid-calf on the water. The mud makes it hard on everybody sticking to our shoes, it’ll wad to our shoes making it more difficult to work.”

Search and rescue K9 crew
Joe Huston, a search and rescue K9 handler, and his dog search an area near where Jason Landry’s car was found wrecked and abandoned (KXAN/Grace Reader)

The last major search for Landry was in February. Roughly 100 volunteers helped collect the information then that guided Saturday’s search. They had already searched roughly 60 square miles leading up to Saturday’s event.

Still, they say this continues to be an open investigation and one that they will continue to pursue.

“I would like to bring some answers to the family,” Frankie Hefley, a TSAR volunteer from Austin who was out on the search Saturday, said.

If you have any information about Landry’s disappearance, you can contact Captain Jeff Ferry of the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office by calling (512) 398-6777 ext. 4504 or by emailing Jeff.Ferry@co.caldwell.tx.us.

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