POSTED: Monday, September 2, 2013 - 10:09pm
UPDATED: Friday, August 1, 2014 - 10:29am
Tyler , TX (KETK) — Brandi Wells of Tyler went missing 7 years ago after leaving a Longview night club on August 3rd.
Because of the time and no evidence, the case went cold.
But, even now her family still wants answers.
And investigators think her disappearance might be linked to a growing problem here in East Texas--- sex trafficking.
"We've suffered long enough and so as she," said Wells' Godmother Michelle Cole.
Family members of Wells describe her as a caring, and trusting young woman.
"I'm afraid that could of been one of the reasons why she was taken," said Cole.
On August 3rd 2006, her family tells KETK Wells went to a club in Longview alone.
"Since she was moving back to this area and going to school in Athens again she just wanted to get out and see if she could meet some new people," said Cole.
Shortly after midnight, Wells went missing.
"I'm just really afraid she could of made herself a target that night and somebody there was watching."
Police found her car on Interstate 20, a couple miles down from the club, with an empty gas tank, her ex-boyfriend's cell phone and her purse
"We're just puzzled as to what could have happened to her."
Years and years of searching, they had no answers.
There was no evidence, no body and no leads to her whereabouts.
Her family started to lose hope.
The FBI and Longview police closed the case.
But Cole, from the beginning, had a strong feeling Wells became a victim of human trafficking.
"All I kept hearing was Michelle these things don't happen anymore these days but they do."
Cole attended a meeting hosted by Grassroots America about the growing problem of human trafficking in East Texas.
"I did get to speak with a lot of law enforcement and other organizations and it is a definite possibility that this could have happened to Brandi."
A glimmer of hope after years of suffering.
"Sometimes 7 years later someone might decide to say something."
Cole said an agent from the Department of Homeland Security is now re-opening Wells' case.
"When I started telling him Brandi's story, he looked me straight in the eye and said I have her file on my desk and that was just amazing. I can't even describe how excited I was about that," said Cole.
if you have information on Brandi Wells please call:
Longview Police Department at 903-237-1110 or Crime Stoppers at 903-236-stop
or call the Laura Recovery Center at 281-482-lrcf(5723) or (toll free) 866-898-5723; fax: 281-482-5727; (rn: 1230)