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Mystery surrounds case of missing gay man, and the last person to see him is now dead

SAN DIEGO – The family of Brandon Parr is frantically seeking his whereabouts after he disappeared from sight on Feb. 12 after coming to San Diego to meet up with an old friend.

The openly gay Brandon, 32, of Sacramento vanished off the grid in mid-February and was last seen at the World Trade Center Homeless Shelter at 1250 Sixth Ave. downtown with resident Larry Kirk Christiansen, according to his sister.

And this afternoon, Sarah Parr learned that the last person who saw her brother alive is dead.

The San Diego County Medical Examiners Office today confirmed that Larry Kirk Christiansen was found dead on March 6. He was 33. A toxicology report is pending, the spokeswoman said.

"I'm feeling helpless," Sarah said. "I have nowhere to turn. The one person who could tell me what I need to know is now dead."

Sarah Parr, who is coordinating the family’s search, spoke numerous times Thursday afternoon to San Diego Gay & Lesbian News by phone from her home in Lake Worth, Fla.

She said her brother knew Christiansen from when they both lived in Utah. She said Brandon left his new puppy in the care of a friend and took the train to San Diego, leaving Sacramento on Feb. 8 and posting travel updates to his Facebook account about how excited he was to reconnect with Kirk.

Sarah, who like her brother is gay, said they have always been close. She follows his exploits on Facebook, and noticed that he posted photographs from inside Kirk’s apartment on Feb. 8 or 9 and seemed to be in good spirits. But then on Feb. 12, Sarah said this post on Brandon’s Facebook page sent off alarms to the family:

“so this dumb Ass within 8 hours is completely f***** up and had security remove me from his building his friends or whatever in the complex threw my phone Its broken then she beat me up punch me in my face and I've been homeless on the streets without any ID and my medication my phone one of my bags not to mention when that ended san diego police put me in handcuffs so i dont have any money or id or a way to be contacted ..... I found the guy last night who said he has a cheap phone i could have but i lost his phone number”

“We believe he did not wrote this because San Diego police said they were never called nor met with Brandon,” Sarah wrote in an email as she documented for SDGLN what was posted on Brandon’s Facebook page, which is locked down to share only limited information with the general public.

Sarah, who is savvy with Social Media, visited Christiansen’s Facebook page and noticed that Kirk had not posted anything new since late January.

Cell phone "dies" on Feb. 12

A check of phone records, Sarah said, shows no activity on Brandon’s cell phone since Feb. 12. The carrier told the family that the cell phone either has a dead battery or is destroyed because it has not been used since that date. Sarah said the carrier told them that five texts have been sent since then by Kirk, but they don’t yet know the content of the texts.

“Brandon has never been off the radar for any length of time,” Sarah said Thursday afternoon. “When he failed to call his Mom for her birthday [on Feb. 16], we all became very concerned.”

Brandon’s mother filed a missing persons report with the San Diego Police Department on March 14, Sarah said, adding that the family is frustrated at the apparent lack of interest by police in pursuing the case.

“Brandon is very street smart,” Sarah said. “I know he would have walked up to a stranger and asked to borrow a phone to seek help. He was not afraid to ask for help.”

Sarah said Brandon is being treated for depression and believes that he has been off his medication since the incident in mid-February.

Details about Brandon Parr

To raise awareness that Brandon is missing, family members have created a Facebook page called “Please help us find Brandon Parr” and includes photos of Brandon and a way for friends to keep in touch in the search to find him.

Sarah has enlisted friends and strangers in San Diego, especially in the LGBT community, to circulate fliers with Brandon’s photo and description.

Brandon Parr was born on July 4, 1982. He is 6-2, 220 pounds, with brown hair and eyes. He is believed to be wearing a beard. Distinguishing marks include a scar above his right eyebrow and a tattoo in black ink on his right arm.

“Brandon smokes cigarettes and drinks, but he does not do drugs or smoke pot,” Sarah said, adding that he does have an arrest record for traffic-related infractions but nothing involving drugs or violence.

Trying to stay calm, Sarah nonetheless seemed worried and anxious. “I’ve called hospitals, the morgues, every place I could think of. I don’t know what else to do. I’m turning to the LGBT community for help in finding Brandon.”

Sarah has contacted LGBT-oriented restaurants in the Hillcrest neighborhood, checking to see if Brandon might have applied for work there. His work history is in restaurants, she said.

The family has posted Craigslist ads in San Diego, Los Angeles, Palm Springs and Modesto. They have also posted "missing person" notices on TV station websites in San Diego and Los Angeles. And to date, no leads on Brandon’s whereabouts.

Two relatives work in corrections and have tapped into resources to find out if Brandon might have been arrested. Even that sleuthing has gotten them nowhere toward finding the missing man, she said.

“He has not been arrested that we know,” she said. “I’m at the end of my wits.”

Then there is this chilling coincidence that has put a pall over the family. Brandon disappeared almost to the day that they buried their father years ago after he was found murdered in San Francisco.

How to help

Sarah asks for your help. Like the Facebook page. Print out the flier and post it in your neighborhood. Be on the lookout for anyone who looks like Brandon.

Call the San Diego police at 619-531-2277 if you have any information about Brandon Parr’s disappearance.

Call Zack Parr at 916-502-1933 if you would like to talk to a family member or send an email to binky0612@aol.com.

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Ken Williams is Editor in Chief of SDGLN. He can be reached at ken@sdgln.com, @KenSanDiego on Twitter, or by calling toll-free to 888-442-9639, ext. 713.