Police Call Off Search for Missing Gamer

After more than two weeks of hunting for Brandon Crisp, police in Barrie, Canada are calling off their ground search efforts.

Law enforcement spokesman Sgt. Dave Goodbrand told the CanWest News Service:

We’ve exhausted our search in the area. We’re going to look through our tips and make a determination of where else to look… We didn’t find [Brandon] and that means there’s a potential likelihood that he’s hiding out. We don’t want to assume anything at this point because he could be anywhere.

No foul play has been suspected yet. He just basically vanished.

As police continue to review more than a thousand tips received from the public, they are also awaiting the results of a forensic examination of Brandon’s Xbox 360. According to reports, Microsoft Canada is cooperating fully in the investigation.

Meanwhile, CTV technology columnist Kris Abel offered an opinion on what the game console might reveal to investigators:

While Brandon may have gamed with some individuals through Xbox Live, you can’t really communicate with other people or share information in the way one can through a social networking website like Facebook.

You can talk over a headset with other gamers [during games], but there’s no privacy. All the other players can hear. It’s possible to send voice messages through Xbox to a specific user. One can also send text messages, but it’s difficult to do. Such messages are generally of the "let’s game at 7 o’clock" variety, Abel said. If someone in Brandon’s situation did meet a predator online, they would likely have communicated privately over regular online channels where it would be much easier, he said.

"Now, one reason they’re going through his Xbox is because it has a detailed record of every player he ever played against and every player he may have sent messages to," Abel said.

"And of course every account has information on it in terms of address. So that’s why they may be going through that with a comb."

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  1. Shadow Darkman Anti-Thesis of Jack Thompson says:

    Holy shit…



  2. Erik says:

    A: At the current time there is nothing to point towards a kidnapping.  It appears as though he left on his own free will.  Ergo he ran away and wasn’t abducted.

    B:  The father helped pack his bags.  So that means the parents aren’t 100% innocent in him leaving.

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  3. Inimical says:

    I’m not sure about every player ever but there is a record of the most recent on Xbox Live that doesn’t require any skill to get to. It’s part of your friends tabs.

    Messages I don’t know about. I’m pretty sure you have the power to delete them so I don’t think they’ll be on the hard-drive.

  4. Kincyr says:

    "Now, one reason they’re going through his Xbox is because it has a detailed record of every player he ever played against and every player he may have sent messages to," Abel said.

    does anyone know if what he said is true? aren’t such records more likely to be on Microsoft’s servers?

    岩「…Where do masochists go when they die?」

  5. SammyDKat says:

    I don’t understand why you think its the parent’s fault if he was kidnapped.  Kids have been kidnapped from their own homes.  It’s not hard to kidnap someone, even if they’re under lock & key.  Instead of acting like a bunch of anonymous doucebags, you should be counting your blessings that its not you or some you know (Mr. Stodern).

  6. Mr. Stodern says:

    Brandon is either hiding somewhere, having been aided by some friend no one knows of, or was kidnapped and murdered.

    Either way, I blame the parents entirely.

  7. GRIZZAM PRIME says:

    Oh snap…


    -Remember kids, personal responsibility is for losers! -The Buck Stops Here. -Thou Shall Not Teamkill, Asshole.

  8. Loudspeaker says:

    Their calling off the search means they believe he’s not going to be found.  Very sad.

    "Volume helps to get a point across but sharp teeth are better."

  9. VideolandHero says:

    I can’t believe the police quit searching already.  I’d like to know where Brandon is.

    — Official Protector of Videoland!

  10. unholyblackdeath says:

    So true. So many parents fail to listen to their children or try to really understand them. They always try to blame it on some external force like music or games. It shows a serious lack of responsibility.

  11. Seiena_Cyrus says:

    Austin_Lewis…what college did you attend? High School was the worst Gossip and hate mongering I’ve ever dealt with…My college actually has a maturity factor…well except when it comes to the really popular high school students…they come in try to be all that and a bag of chips like they were in High school and the College students destroy them like heat seeking missles…If you can’t act mature and like an adult I can see how you’d have a lot of trouble in College, but for the most part they’re the only people I can actually have real conversations with….

  12. Austin_Lewis says:

    I find that if you’re going to let what people say about you get you down, then you probably shouldn’t be in college.  I never heard so many insults or so much gossip as when I was in college.  That’s one of the problems of skipping kids ahead grades; they tend to have problems socially.

  13. VideolandHero says:

    What’s more selfish? Suicide, or everybody making the suicidal person’s life a living hell and making them feel horrible constantly?

    — Official Protector of Videoland!

  14. Neeneko says:

    Oh, I should also point out, suicide via self-posioning (or overdose) is harder then one might think.  Unless one knows the right dosage it is easy to take too much and hit the body’s natural defenses against overdose which will cause the attempt to fail.  Take too little and it doesnt kill you, take too much and the boy rejects the posion and something messy but non-fatal happens.

  15. Neeneko says:

    True suicide is selfish, but so is not wanting someone to kill themselves.

    Ultimatly, one’s life is one’s own domain.  I find it more selfish for others to want someone to live for their sake then someone who wishes to stop for their own.

  16. DeepThorn says:

    Poor guy, name alone…  I couldn’t imagine the crap he went though…  but for being in college at 14 or 15, how the hell do you fail at killing yourself, it isnt that hard.  Suicide is so selfish though.  Think about the people that love you for God’s sake.  It is amazing what a conversation can do if you are willing to just talk with people and tell them what you are going through so they can make things a little easier on you.

  17. Austin_Lewis says:

    I’ve never seen a police force happy to have ‘clairvoyants’ on the case.  All that bullshit you see on TV about them being really helpful is nonsense.  They very, very, VERY rarely have anything to add, but they do manage to waste time and grab some attention for themselves.

    Seriously, we need Penn and Teller to start doing what Harry Houdini used to do and debunk some of this bullshit.

  18. Zevorick says:

    I’m sure they did. At least, I hope they did. I’m not sure about Canada’s K-9 Unit, but I’m assuming if they had them that they would have used them by now.

  19. sortableturnip says:

    Did they even bring out bloodhounds to search for him?  Get a scent from his clothes and they can find him real quick!

  20. Zevorick says:

    Not without leaving a trace as to where you’ve been. That’s far more difficult than people are seeming to realize.

  21. HarmlessBunny says:

    When you have 100’s of km’s of forest and a city a couple hours away that has a population of nearly 10 million…plus several towns that have a population of 20,000 + along the way…easy for anyone to blend in and vanish.

  22. mogbert says:

    As tired as I am about hearing about this story (people go missing everyday, so getting so many updates about one kid who was apparently spoiled and ran away from home, is annoying) this is actually good news. You didn’t want to find him where they were looking, because then it would have only been his body. That means there is a chance that he is still alive somewhere.

  23. Jabrwock says:

    It’s the usual thing when cases become high-profile, all the loonies come out of the woodwork offering to "help" (more like to get their name associated with the case so they can claim credit when he’s found). I say if these "clairvoyants" know where he is, forget the tips, just go fetch him, or stand outside the house where he’s hiding and call the police. Otherwise, STFU.

    — If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap…

  24. nightwng2000 says:

    Evar body knows it’s dem dar Vulkins what comed down and swipped the boy!

    Just snatched ’em up and tookin ’em away in dar space saucer and jest ker-poofed!

    (Well, it’s about as likely a story as using mediums to locate him.  )


    NW2K Software

    Nightwng2000 has also updated his MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

  25. Jabrwock says:

    Brandon’s story is now on America’s Most Wanted’s website, although they aren’t currently looking at a mention in the TV show unless police fear he has crossed the border (which they don’t currently believe).

    CBC’s The Fifth Estate is working on a story, although there’s no projected airdate yet.

    — If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap…

  26. Hannah says:

    They’re already starting to get snow, according to the weather forecast… if the kid is outside right now, he’s not going to last long.

  27. Neeneko says:

    This does make the ‘died of exposure’ theory less likly.  If he was injured soon after abandoning his bike he would not have gotten far and thus the ground search would have located him.

    So this means he is either hiding somewhere or still on the move.

  28. barra_sadei says:

    Back in the 80s, there was a case of a missing kid. He played D&D, was essentially a prodegy (if I misspelled that, you can obviously tell that I am not), and, a key factor in my point, was gay. He was in his mid-teens (roughly 14, 15), in college, and was under a lot of stress from his parents, school, and society not accepting his sexuality. So, he went into the steam tunnels of his college and tried to overdose on sleeping pills. He failed on killing himself, but he layed low for a while. He did emerge again, but I believe he then later successfully killed himself.

    Now, have you every heard the weird stories that D&D players are devil worshipers, or believe they actually are their character? All of those stem from this incident, because, at the request of the boy, the private detective didn’t tell the real reason of why he ran away, instead telling the public that he was so into playing, he thought he was his character, and that’s why he was in the school’s steam tunnels.

    What does this have to do with this story? Well, the kid might be laying low until the press and police die down, as a few other people have said, because he thinks he’s in a lot of trouble. Alternative are that he’s probably laughing his ass off, having evaded everyone, kidnapped, or dead.

    Although, for the sake of the kid, I hope he’s alive.

  29. Bill says:


    "You can talk over a headset with other gamers [during games], but there’s no privacy."  "If someone in Brandon’s situation did meet a predator online, they would likely have communicated privately over regular online channels where it would be much easier, he said."


    That’s not necessarily true; you can invite people into private chats over Xbox Live and talk to them through the headset.  All he had to do was get a rapport with another player during a game then invite them to a private chat any time he felt like it.  Someone needs to set Kris Abel straight.

  30. Zevorick says:

    Apparently Canada has a problem with magicians going apeshirt crazy… If there’s no foul play involved then this kid is more hardcore than a lot of Navy Seals I know to go under the radar with no food in the freezing cold for more than two weeks… give me a break.

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