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‘He Did Not Just Disappear Into Thin Air’: Family Of Oregon Man Who Vanished From Campsite Searching For ‘Closure’
“We feel like we’re beating our head against the wall,” the father of Michael Bryson, who disappeared from an Oregon campground last month, said six weeks after he was reported missing.
The family of an Oregon man who disappeared from a campground earlier this summer is clinging to hope the he's still alive as autumn sets in.
Michael Bryson, 27, was last seen by his family in Harrisburg, Oregon on Aug. 3, shortly before trekking out on a camping trip celebrating a friend’s birthday.
“He did not just disappear into thin air,” Parrish Bryson, Michael’s father told Dateline. “We need to bring Michael home. Whatever the outcome is, a grieving family needs closure and people will rally around them to help get that closure.”
On the night of Aug. 5, Bryson vanished from the campsite, according to NPR affiliate KLCC. That night, Bryson, a DJ, attended a rave and later performed, his family said. When the sun rose, the 27-year-old wasn’t anywhere to be found.
“We know he was up there Monday and Tuesday and that the DJ at this party, that was actually a rave, invited him up on stage to do a set,” his father added. “But by the next morning, he was gone.”
Investigators found Bryson’s camping gear and phone. The 27-year-old left his friends and departed the campground in an unspecified direction around 4:30 a.m., Lane County Sheriff’s Office said. His bank account hasn’t been used since his disappearance, according to law enforcement.
A search of the surrounding forested area turned up few clues as to Bryson’s whereabouts. Horses, drones, and hundreds of rescue volunteers were deployed in the search efforts at the campground near Dorena, Oregon.
His parents, however, are suspicious of the people he had been spending time with on the camping trip, particularly those he partied with the night he vanished.
“The stories given by some of the people at the party are inconsistent,” Parrish Bryson told Dateline. “And most of those people left the day Michael went missing, and continued to hold raves and parties.”
A $10,000 reward was previously issued for information related to Bryson’s whereabouts, according to ABC affiliate KEZI. A Facebook group, which has nearly 14,000 members, has since been created to spread awareness about his disappearance.
"At this point we have no good leads to follow up on," Trent Magnuson, Bryson's uncle, said last month in the day’s following his nephew’s disappearance.
The worried family described Bryson as an adventurous and compassionate music lover, who lived to travel, and twice visited Africa on mission trips. The 27-year-old also battled substance abuse, aspired to become an electrician, and worked at a local bar prior to his disappearance, his father said.
“We’ve done everything we could possibly do and now we’re just spinning our wheels,” Parrish said. “We feel like we’re beating our head against the wall. Our hope now is that someone will come forward with information.”
Michael Bryson stands roughly six-feet tall and weighs about 180 pounds. He has short brown hair, brown eyes, and was wearing a white T-shirt, tan shorts, and white shoes with a rainbow design at the time of his disappearance. He may also have been wearing a baseball hat. Bryson has multiple tattoos.
Anyone with information related to Bryson’s disappearance is urged to contact the Lane County Sheriff's Office at 541-682-4150.