Bradley Eugene Gilbert

Bradley Eugene Gilbert was a 6-year-old boy born on July 24, 1978, in Vernon, Texas. He had a 3-year-old younger brother named Jason. Bradley’s parents had separated, and his father lived outside of Texas. Bradley was a first grader at Chillicothe Elementary School.

On Saturday, November 10, 1984, Bradley was playing with his younger brother Jason in the backyard of their aunt’s house in Chillicothe, Texas. At that time, a man started following Bradley and his brother.

Bradley shouted to his younger brother, “Go inside the house,” but unfortunately, the man caught Bradley, put him in his car, and drove away. Three witnesses saw a man with a small, dirty car near the place where the child was abducted.

Bradley’s aunt’s house was half a block away from Highway 287. This highway connects Amarillo to Wichita Falls, which made it easier for the kidnapper to keep an eye on the child and escape after the abduction.

Texas Rangers and FBI teams were called in for the search, and a reward was offered to help find Bradley. The search involved two airplanes, a helicopter, and 50 to 70 searchers, including mounted searchers. Local residents were also asked to search their properties for the child. This search continued throughout the weekend.

Preston Dairies, which is part of a national program to find missing children, printed Bradley’s picture on milk cartons to help find the child. Two witnesses and Bradley’s younger brother Jason were hypnotized to get details of the entire incident.

During Jason’s hypnosis session, he revealed that his brother had told him to “go inside the house” when the man got out of his car and started chasing his older brother.

Sadly, Bradley’s body was found 16 miles away in a slough, north of Vernon, Texas. On Sunday, March 31, 1985, two teenage boys were fishing when a decomposed body got caught on their fishing rod hook.

The poor child’s throat had been slit, and his pants were around his ankles, indicating that se*ual assault may have been the motive. After the autopsy, it was confirmed that the body was Bradley’s.

It was estimated that the body might have been thrown into the Pease River from a bridge around May 2. A woman also testified that she saw a man stop his car on a bridge, take something out of the car, and throw it into the river.

In 1987, law enforcement arrested a suspect in Bradley’s case, but he provided proof that he was not in the state on the day of the crime. Another suspect from Oklahoma was also identified, but no solid evidence could be found against him, so he could not be arrested.

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