“We firmly believe that someone in our parish has information regarding Bambi’s disappearance,” Detective Jordan said.

In 2018 the Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office reopened four unsolved cases that occurred in Vernon Parish in the 1980s.

Detectives Rhonda Jordan and Jerry Twyman are working diligently to thoroughly investigate each case using modern techniques.

At this point in time, their goal is to solve the cases and recover some remains to bring closure for the families who are still waiting for answers.

The first case the detectives are focusing on is the Bambi Brantley disappearance from 1986.

On October 22, Bambi was last seen walking on Hwy 8 toward Tower Trailer Park from Leebo’s store. While at Leebo’s, Bambi bought a fountain drink and used the pay phone outside to call her brother Roddy.

Roddy was at the Pit Grill, which is now BJ’s Diner on Hwy 171 with some friends. Bambi did not speak to her brother directly, but she told whoever answered the phone at the Pit Grill to tell her brother to come home and bring her the car so she could go see her boyfriend.

Her brother arrived home within a half an hour to find the drink Bambi bought sitting in the trailer, but no Bambi.

Roddy left the car and the keys for her and rode back to the Pit Grill with a friend.

When Roddy returned home in the early morning hours, the car was in the driveway, the drink was still in the same spot and Bambi was nowhere to be found.

Bambi recently moved to the area from Bartlett, Tennessee shortly before she disappeared. She and her brother shared a trailer in Tower Trailer Park.

At the time of her disappearance, Bambi was employed at Pynes Chrysler, a car dealership north of the Walgreens parking lot.

Bambi not being home was completely out of character for her and her brother ultimately reported her missing to the Leesville Police Department.

Lt. Buck Massey was initially in charge of the investigation before it was eventually handed over to the Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Department.

On June 18, 2019, the Leesville Daily Leader requested to see any investigation records related to the case from the Leesville Police Department. The paper was told there are no existing records from that time period due to the department not having the space to store them.

Old Leesville Daily Leader newspaper articles report there were no clues uncovered by the Leesville Police Department before it was turned over to Vernon Parish Sheriff, Frank Howard.

Today, VPSO Detectives are interested in speaking with anyone who lived in Tower Trailer Park, or anyone who knew Bambi or her brother in any way: a friend, acquaintance, colleague or a resident of Tower Trailer Park.

“We firmly believe that someone in our parish has information regarding Bambi’s disappearance,” Detective Jordan said.

VPSO is re-interviewing everyone who was mentioned in its original case file and has already conducted some interviews. They will be conducting more soon.

They will also be using a drone to conduct aerial surveying of various areas throughout the parish. Once they have the results form the drones, they will then be performing foot and grid searches.

Bambi was a very social girl in the prime of her life. She was in a relationship with a local gentleman. She did not have a history of running off and was not a drug user.

At the time of her disappearance, Bambi was two weeks from turning 26 years old. She stood 5’7” tall, of slim build weighing 105 pounds with brown-blonde hair and green eyes.

Bambi’s mother is still alive at 93 years of age. At this point, her family is more concerned with recovering Bambi’s remains and laying her to rest before her mother dies. That is the closure this family is looking for.

“We are looking for ANYTHING. It’s the smallest piece of information that will break this case open,” Detective Jordan said. “Did a neighbor in the trailer park notice anything unusual like a strange vehicle or a disturbance? What about a stranger driving through the trailer park that night? Literally, we want to know anything anyone can think of.” 

Roddy, Bambi’s brother died in February 2008.

Anyone with information regarding the disappearance of Bambi Luann Brantley is asked to contact Detective Rhonda Jordan or Detective Jerry Twyman at 337-238-7248.

A look back at 1986 

In an effort to jog our reader’s memories here is a list of things that were happening in Vernon Parish and across the nation during the month Bambi disappeared.

On the evening Bambi disappeared, the temperature was a cool seventy degrees with a slight breeze blowing and the moon was on the back side of full.

Here are some events:

Leesville Mayor Pat Anderson and Leesville Police Chief Gil Jeane received a new ambulance adding to the town’s fleet

Leesville Wampus Cats beat DeRidder 5-0

The US Army Golden Knights parachute team jumped into Leesville and DeRidder

Deputies from the Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Department fingerprinted second graders at Fort Polk Elementary

Cynthia Faircloth was crowned the 1986 Leesville Rodeo Queen

William “Billy” Spears was stabbed to death in his Hornbeck home

The US Marine Corps Band played at Leesville High School

The Leesville Jaycees Club opened the Haunted House for Halloween

Dennis Ray Rector of Leesville won the Louisiana State Bareback Bronc Riding championships

Golfer Nick Pollacia, Sr. shot the first hole-in-one of his career at Leesville Municipal Golf Course

Pat Williams Construction company was awarded a Vernon Parish Police Jury contract to remodel the KCS Depot Museum

Area High Schools had their Homecoming Dances

Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka signed Doug Flutie to the team that saw success with William “The Refrigerator” Perry

The US Government shut down because of a dispute between President Ronald Reagan and the House of Representatives

Joan Rivers became the first woman to host a US talk show with “The Late Show with Joan Rivers”

Wampus Cat gridders visited West Leesville Elementary School

Two Fort Polk soldiers were arrested following a string of burglaries in the Sandy Hill Area

The Leesville Lions Club Rodeo kicked off with a fall festival and parade on Third Street

The Forestry Festival opened with Stacy Kay crowned the Queen

Vernon Parish School Board Members took a tour of the Fort Polk training area and watched a tank demonstration

A gallon of gasoline cost .89¢

The Oprah Winfrey Show debuted

Top Gun, Crocodile Dundee and Platoon were the top movies

The US performed a nuclear test at the Nevada Test Site

Madonna’s “Papa Don’t Preach”, and the Bengals’ “Walk Like an Egyptian” were popular on the radio

Alf and Magnum P.I. were television favorites

Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev met at a summit in Reykjavik, Iceland

Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom