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Thread: William Brian McKenzie Jr (21) missing from Jackson, TN since 9/27/19

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    William Brian McKenzie Jr (21) missing from Jackson, TN since 9/27/19

    https://www.jacksonsun.com/story/new...jr/3835749002/

    A Jackson mother is searching for answers after her 21-year-old son went missing Friday.

    Frances Gaines last spoke with her son, William Brian McKenzie, Jr., on the phone on Friday after he finished work at Denny's. He told her he was on his way home and that he loved her. The next morning, Gaines found he had not returned.

    She has not heard anything about his whereabouts since then. His bedroom has gone untouched and he has missed work, which is out-of-character for him, she said.

    "I've been trying to do everything that I can," Gaines said. "I've never been in this situation. I feel lost and overwhelmed."

    McKenzie's phone was turned off after he spoke with her Friday. Friends told her he visited their home in Madison County that evening, but said they didn't know where he went after he left.

    Jackson Police Department asked for public assistance in the search for McKenzie Wednesday, identifying him as a "missing and possibly endangered person" in a news release. Police stated he disappeared under suspicious circumstances.

    McKenzie was driving her black 2006 Jeep Liberty, which is also missing. Gaines searched the streets around her home and other areas in Jackson to no avail.

    Gaines said her son usually comes home to shower after work and doesn't leave the house without "being prepped up." His clothes and shoes are still in his room. Nothing had been packed or removed, as if he was planning to take a trip.

    "He's still in his Denny's uniform right now," she said.

    McKenzie recently got his driver's license and Gaines said he wasn't yet comfortable driving on the highway. His father and girlfriend in California and Arizona have not heard from him either, she said.

    "I call the hospitals every day to see if he's there," Gaines said. "He's not there. I call the jails. He's not there."

    McKenzie is roughly 6'1'' and weighs around 180 pounds. He has dark hair and brown eyes. He was last seen driving a black 2006 Jeep Liberty with license plate number 3L66T7.

    The vehicle has white Star Wars stickers on each side of the bottom back window. The left side of the bumper is dented and the vehicle has a spare tire attached to the back.

    Anyone with information on McKenzie's whereabouts is encouraged to contact the Jackson Police Department at 731-425-8400.
    https://www.facebook.com/12668855206...type=1&theater

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    https://www.jacksonsun.com/story/new...am/2874044001/

    In the weeks after her 22-year-old son went missing in September, Frances Gaines received a series of terrifying texts:

    Gaines went to the police, who quickly determined that the texts were part of a scam targeting the families of missing people.

    "Seeing the look on Frances' face, and seeing the complete devastation, agony and pain whenever she was receiving these messages ... I wouldn't wish that on anybody," said Rickey Alexander, a missing persons advocate that has helped organize the search for McKenzie.

    The texts have gotten worse and more frequent in the last few weeks, including expletives, threats and even photographs of McKenzie that have been altered to make him appear bruised with his mouth taped shut.

    Frances Gaines has received several text messages from an unknown individual demanding money and threatening harm to her son, who has been missing since Sept. 27. Police say the texts are a scam. Screenshots of the messages have been edited to obscure phone numbers and expletives.

    Frances Gaines has received several text messages from an unknown individual demanding money and threatening harm to her son, who has been missing since Sept. 27. Police say the texts are a scam. Screenshots of the messages have been edited to obscure phone numbers and expletives. (Photo: Courtesy of Frances Gaines)

    The texts demand money in the form of gift cards — a tactic that should always raise red flags, according to the Jackson Police Department.

    This type of scam affects families with missing loved ones throughout the United States every year, documented by a web of local news reports.

    Several people in Walker County, Alabama reported a similar scam to local law enforcement after receiving ransom texts during the search for 26-year-old man in December. A scammer also demanded thousands of dollars from parents in Aurora, Colorado while they searched for their 15-year-old son in June.

    Alexander said the phone number used to contact Gaines was already in a scam database maintained by the FBI. Authorities traced the number to South Africa.

    "I can't understand how anybody can knowingly and intentionally do that to somebody who's already going through every single person's worst nightmare," Alexander said.

    "It's just gut-wrenching."
    It's been almost six months since Gaines last spoke to her son on the phone as he was finishing his shift at a Denny's restaurant. McKenzie went to a friend's house after work, where he met a man named Keenan Murphy and agreed to give him a ride home in his 2006 Jeep Liberty.

    McKenzie and the car haven't been seen since.

    Murphy, 21, faces first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder charges in the shootings of four men between Sept. 25 and Oct. 4. Murphy asked the men to give him a ride before deciding to shoot them, police say.

    Gaines took immediate action when McKenzie didn't come home, filing a missing persons report with the Jackson Police Department, contacting local news outlets and posting his picture and description on social media.

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