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Vancouver man's body pulled from Columbia River more than a year after his disappearance

A Vancouver police investigation into the disappearance of Brandon Majors, then 35, found an SUV crashed into the river on the day he went missing.
Credit: Vancouver Police Department

VANCOUVER, Wash. — A body recovered from the Columbia River in July has been identified as a Vancouver man who disappeared in May of 2021 under suspicious circumstances, according to the Vancouver Police Department.

The Multnomah County Sheriff's Office recovered the body on July 7. Less than a month later, the county medical examiner's office contacted Vancouver police to advise them that the body could be Brandon Majors, who disappeared on May 12, 2021. He was 35 years old at the time he went missing.

Vancouver police detectives sent Majors' medical and dental records over to the medical examiner, in addition to photographs from his missing person file. The body was positively identified as Majors on Sept. 1, police said, and his family was notified.

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According to previous statements from Vancouver police, Majors' mother reported him missing on May 24, 2021. She said that she hadn't heard from him since Mother's Day.

As detectives began looking into Majors' disappearance, they were able to develop a timeline of his final day. He was last seen the evening of May 12 in the Rose Village neighborhood of Vancouver, and left the area in a gray BMW SUV.

About one hour after Majors was seen leaving, police responded to reports that a BMW had driven into the Columbia River. Vancouver police officers and partnering agencies searched the area of the crashed SUV, but found no one at the scene.

Witnesses, however, reported seeing multiple people flee the area of the crashed BMW.

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Despite conducting dozens of interviews, detectives reported by May 2022 that there were no definitive accounts of what had happened to Majors. Acquaintances of the man believed that foul play could have been involved in his disappearance, but none could claim firsthand knowledge.

Several people with whom Majors was last seen refused to cooperate with investigators, Vancouver police said at the time.

In July 2021, Vancouver police submitted the case to Crime Stoppers of Oregon. By May 2022, they'd received no tips that could help them determine what had happened to Majors.

Vancouver police said that detectives assigned to the case maintained a close relationship with Majors' family, who continued to seek answers and closure in his disappearance. Beverly Bagley, Majors' mother, provided photos of him for distribution.

The identification of Majors' body closes one significant chapter of the case, but questions about the circumstances of his death remain. Vancouver police asked on Tuesday that anyone with more information contact Detective Zachary Ripp at (360) 487-7391 or zachary.ripp@cityofvancouver.us.

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