Their lives may have gone on, but time stopped and nothing was ever the same. They are the family of Bambi Luann Brantley, a Memphis, Tennessee native who moved to Leesville in 1986 at the age of 25 and, 3 months later, disappeared without a trace.
Bambi was one of five women, all white, all about the same age, all with blond hair, and all of whom disappeared in Leesville between 1980 and 1990. The four other women were all found deceased, but there’s never been any sign of Bambi.
There’s one other common factor pointed out by Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Department Investigator Rhonda Jordan, in four of the five cases, including the Bambi Brantley case, they disappeared from a convenience store.
On Friday Bambi’s sisters and a brother, along with nieces and nephews, all traveled from Tennessee, Georgia, and other states to gather at the Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Department with Sheriff Sam Craft. The sheriff and the family begged for anyone that has any information – regardless of how insignificant it may seem – to come forward and share that information with investigators.
According to Bambi’s surviving sisters, Randi Sarsfield and Vickie Jackson, she was a sheltered girl who had never lived anywhere but at home in Memphis. However, following a breakup with a boyfriend and needing a fresh start with greener pastures, she moved to Leesville to live with her older brother who was 38 at the time. They said the brother had been living in Leesville and enjoyed his life there, and when Bambi moved in with her brother she quickly landed a job at a car dealership and was very happy.
However, Bambi vanished on the evening of October 22nd, 1986.
The family says that investigators have told them that she walked about 1/10th of a mile from her brother's home to a convenience store on Highway 8 on the west side of Leesville where she used a payphone - and was never heard from again.
According to the family, they were frustrated early on with the Leesville Police Department and they felt that the department was just not interested in investigating the case.
That all changed last year when the Vernon Parish Sheriff's Department announced that not only had they taken over the Brantley case, but also a few other cold cases.
On Friday, Detective Rhonda Jordan showed KJAS News file boxes related to the Brantley case and the other cases. Jordan said every single piece of evidence has been copied and preserved digitally, and one entire room of the department has been devoted to only those cold cases.
However, Jordan said there's been a snag in the investigation. She said that early on the sheriff's department requested the Leesville Police Department to share their old files and any evidence that they possess regarding the Brantley case, but so far they have not received anything.
KJAS News will continue to follow this story.