A mother who fought to find her missing son lost her battle with cancer, but her fight for justice did not die. A surviving family member said the more than 11-year-old case is not cold.
Becky Perry Klino's son, Branson Perry, 20, disappeared from his father's Skidmore, MO, home on April 11, 2001, about 3 p.m. On that day Branson told his friend he was putting jumper cables in the shed and would be right back. He has not been seen since. His personal belongings were left behind.
His mother spent the ensuing years tirelessly working to find Branson. More than a decade later, his case is unsolved.
"You always have to have hope he may be out there, but it doesn't look good," Jim Klino, Becky's widower, said.
When his wife was diagnosed with cancer, family members desperately tried to see justice served while she was still alive. They now believe she will guide them to find the answers she couldn't.
Klino often visits his wife headstone. He lost her on Valentine's Day.
"Everybody in the family wanted her to see, to find justice before she passed. When she was diagnosed with cancer, that was our fight too, so we had two fights going on at the same time," Klino said.
During his wife's last days, Klino had to discuss difficult decisions. One of her last wishes included placing Branson's headstone next to hers.
"A spot for Branson next to her, so when we found Branson's body, we could put him to rest the right way. So they'd be together," Klino said.
On Branson's headstone, the date of his death is the same day he disappeared.
"There are things going on that I can't say. I'm positive that we are going to find answers and get it solved," Klino said.
Klino is also positive his wife is once again with the son she searched for.
"We know they are together in heaven. Becky always said we needed a sign from her in heaven on where he is to put him to rest the right way," Klino said.
However, he does say they still hold out a minuscule amount of hope that Branson is still alive, but in their heart of hearts they believe he died that day in 2001.
Over the last 11 years, Branson's case has taken many twists and turns. At one time police suspected Jack Wayne Rogers, who was convicted on federal child pornography charges. He was accused of bragging online that he picked up a young hitchhiker, drugged him, sexually assaulted, mutilated and killed the man who matched Branson's description. He said he buried the body in a remote area of the Ozarks. Police were unable to find enough evidence to charge him and he later denied any involvement in Branson's disappearance. Rogers is now in federal prison on an unrelated child pornography conviction and other charges.
Anyone with information about Branson's disappearance is asked to call Detective Roger Phillips with the Missouri Highway Patrol at 816-387-2345. There is a $20,000 reward for information.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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