Details of Disappearance Brian disappeared while collecting money while working his Phoenix Gazette newspaper route in Phoenix, Arizona at approximately 3:00 p.m. on February 28, 1981. He was riding his bicycle and was last seen in the area of north 9th Avenue and west Myrtle Avenue. He has never been heard from again. The day after his disappearance, his bike was found in an alley in the 1100 block of west Glendale.
Stephen Michael Wilson was arrested in 1989 and charged with Brian's abduction, molestation and murder. A photograph of Wilson is posted below this case summary. He allegedly confessed to three witnesses, one of them his doctor, about his role in Brian's case. Wilson, who was openly gay, reportedly became enraged and attacked Brian after the boy made homophobic remarks to him and threw rocks at his home.
Brian's bicycle was found a few yards from Wilson's apartment, and neighbors reported seeing the boy near the apartment around the time he vanished, but there were no bloodstains or any other physical evidence to indicate that a crime had been committed. A jury acquitted Wilson of all charges in 1990. He died of AIDS-related causes in 1994. He maintained his innocence in Brian's case until the end.
Brian was a sixth-grade student at Orangewood Elementary School in 1981, and lived in the 900 block of west Myrtle Avenue. He has five siblings. He has never been located and his disappearance remains unsolved. Foul play is suspected.
- Phoenix Police Department
Updated 6 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated September 8, 2017; clothing/jewelry description, medical conditions and details of disappearance updated.