Disappeared: Bradyn Fuksa, missing 4 years. [UPDATED–FOUND.]

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This article, originally posted June 17, 2013, was updated May 8, 2015.

This case has been concluded. Today, May 8, 2015, the Natrona County (Wyoming) coroner announced that they identified human skeletal remains found last week as those of Michael Bradyn Fuksa. He appears to have died by a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The full story is here.

My sincerest condolences go out to the Fuksa family as well as the rest of Bradyn’s friends and loved ones. This is a very sad end, but at least there’s closure.

Did you find this article after viewing an episode of Disappeared on Investigation Discovery? You may be interested in some other missing persons cases with equally compelling stories who have not been featured on TV, like Israel Smith – Bobby Sine – Stevie BatesJay Pringle. Maybe you have a tip that could help!

Original Text of the Article (17 June 2013)

Michael Fuksa, who went by the name Bradyn, was an outgoing, attractive 22-year-old college student living in Olathe, Kansas. One summer night about four years ago, Bradyn left his house, telling his roommate he was going to spend the night with his parents. He did not show up at his parents’ house. Instead, for reasons unknown, he drove his car (a 1996 Ford Explorer) to the wilds of Wyoming, about a 10-hour drive. Early the next morning, July 16, 2009, Bradyn got a flat tire fixed at a shop in Wheatland, Wyoming. The guy who fixed his tire was the last person to see him. A few hours later the car was found parked on the side of the highway, with gas, locked, and with Bradyn’s valuables inside.

Charley Project’s file has this information:

Fuksa may have been carrying a blue Nike bag, a pocket knife and a 9-millimeter handgun at the time of his disappearance. His cellular phone disappeared with him and hasn’t been used since he went missing. He had previously been arrested for theft and was out on bail on that charge when he disappeared. Although there is no evidence of foul play in his case, and it’s possible he is simply running from the law, Fuksa’s family is concerned for his welfare. Kansas police are investigating his case, which remains unsolved.

This case was featured on an episode of the Investigation Discovery show “Disappeared” under the title “Lost Highway.” The episode mentioned a possible sighting of Bradyn at a homeless shelter in Wyoming a few months later, but that sighting could not be confirmed.  The episode also stressed Bradyn’s arrest earlier in July, which was for stealing money from his employer.

Was Bradyn running from the law? Clearly he was spooked by his arrest for theft. But is it that simple? A question the Disappeared show did not answer was this: what did he need all the money for? His parents seemed to be reasonably well-off. A young man known for previously being forthright and honest doesn’t turn to embezzlement without a compelling reason–that is an act of desperation. Why did he need all this money, and what did he think was going to happen to him if he didn’t get it?

I would not be surprised if Bradyn Fuksa is still alive out there somewhere. Clearly I hope so. Maybe in the future we’ll get resolution on this case. Maybe not.

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9 Comments on Disappeared: Bradyn Fuksa, missing 4 years. [UPDATED–FOUND.]

  1. Thanks for profiling this case, Sean. I live in Lawrence Ks which is one of the last places Bradyn had been before he disappeared, and I hadn’t even heard of his case until I saw it on “Disappeared.” Just goes to show you that sometimes people can go missing and not enough attention is drawn to the case. Being featured on a national show on the I.D. channel is great, and also the fact that you have written recently about this case is great. I often wonder about him, and what truly happened. One thing I believe is certain though, (although noone seems to verify this) I believe there is *much* more to the story, and I for one won’t forget about him.

  2. I too was so sad to hear this story today on Disappeared. I ran right to the computer after the show to see if he had been found. He looks like my Xhusband and makes me so sad to think his parents dont know where he is. I will pray that he is found and that God will bring comfort and peace to his family. All you can do is know that he is being taken care of by the greatest God and he will protect all his children. God bless them!

  3. The parents did not seem undisturbed to me. It has been several years. They seemed confused and sad, and helpless. They are from Kansas. Effusive emotionality is not a Kansan trait.

  4. I too have just watched this story on Discovery ID. How wonderful that they are still running the story, and there are still updates like this page. Of course like many I was touched deeply by the story and moved to check the web for any updates. I’m sad to learn that he is still missing. I don’t pretend to know all of the facts, I can’t imagine how hard it must have been for him to decide to walk away-no matter the reason-he obviously was confused and suffering some sort of emotional turmoil, because no one walks away from a loving family easily, and I cannot fathom what his loved ones are going through. None of this is for me to judge or analyze. It doesn’t really matter why after all does it? He’s young, he’s made a couple of poor choices, haven’t we all? I didn’t always have all the answers, and many times wished I could “just run away”. I pray that’s all this is. I pray he will find his way home to the people that love him so very much. I pray he realizes that all can be mended and tucked away, soon to be a distant memory. He has his whole life ahead of him. It started with one step away from them…..and the fix is just as simple if he is still out there. Just take that first step headed back in the right direction. Towards the people who love you and support you. Together you can get through anything!!! Prayers to all involved, hope to read about a joyous return soon.

  5. Ryan P. // June 3, 2014 at 9:05 pm //

    Where are you all getting Montana from? He disappeared in Wyoming.

    • Ryan P. – the police discovered he drove 10 hours to get to Montana. His family said he was fascinated with that particular state.

  6. Its interesting to see how this case (among many others similarly) resonates with people. Personally, he really seems like someone I would know, just a totally normal, nice guy. Its so hard for me to fathom how he just could completely disappear. At the same time, I was in legal situation once, come to think of it, at around the same time, and it really made an impression on me. Despite never having been in trouble and being a good kid from a good family, having been in that situation of being in legal trouble was scary. You get all these cops treating you like you’re a felon who’s life is going to be ruined, and it really makes you think about yourself and your choices. I know, at the time, I really felt like I had ruined my life. It wasn’t until talking to people and really researching the situation that I realized it really was just more of a warning. And so it really sinks in to me that he didn’t get that from anyone, explaining that it really would have been fixable. I just hope it had nothing to do with his disappearance and hope this question will be answered.

  7. Tamar E. Woodhouse-Young // August 6, 2015 at 6:51 am //

    I just watched disappeared on Investigation Discovery, where Michael Bradyn Fuksa’s story was highlighted. I was disparate to know the end so I did a search online and was saddened by the information that his skeletal remains were found… I did not finish watching the program. As a teacher of children ages 14 – 18, I encourage children to talk to parents and parents to talk to their children. Let them know it is alright to “mess up”. No one is perfect. My heart goes out to all those touched by this case.
    Still making a difference one student at a time, Ms. WH-Y (as the kid’s call me since my last name is Woodhouse-Young and had been shortened to WH-Young on teacher lists for duties etc.)

  8. m.hainex // August 6, 2015 at 7:17 am //

    Sorry, I too held out hope for Bradlyn, He sounds so much like my son of the same age…
    but the update, has said that Remains found was that of Bradlyn, self inflicted GUN shot.

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