Joseph Skyler Burnley

Burnley, circa 2016; Three of Burnley's tattoos; Burnley on gas station video the day he disappeared; Amanda Morris; Travis Brewer

  • Missing Since 06/03/2016
  • Missing From Rankin County, Mississippi
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Male
  • Race White
  • Date of Birth 10/18/1988 (35)
  • Age 27 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'9, 160 pounds
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description A short-sleeved yellow button-down shirt, blue shorts and a baseball cap; a photo of Burnley in these clothes is posted with this case summary.
  • Medical Conditions Burnley is addicted to drugs.
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian male. Brown hair, hazel eyes. Burnley has tattoos on his chest, abdomen and both arms; photos of some of his tattoos are posted with this case summary. He goes by the nickname Sky.

Details of Disappearance

Burnley was last seen in Rankin County, Mississippi on June 3, 2016. He disappeared after helping two friends, Travis Lee Brewer and Brewer's girlfriend Amanda June Morris, find Brewer's stolen 1988 Chevrolet pickup truck and his cellular phone, which was inside the truck when it was stolen.

According to Morris and Brewer, they tracked the phone to the woods outside of Brandon, Mississippi, drove there and got out of the car, leaving Morris and Brewer and Morris's four-year-old daughter inside it. Brewer and Burnley split up in the woods and went in different directions to look for the truck. Burnley was videotaped on a gas station surveillance camera in the area at 9:48 a.m.

Brewer eventually returned to the truck without Burnley. He and Morris looked for him on their own and were unable to find him, and finally called 911 to report his disappearance at 1:00 a.m. on June 4, fifteen hours after they realized he was missing. By then, he told the 911 operator, he had found his missing truck along the road, damaged and without the cellular phone.

After calling 911, Brewer went to Burnley's uncle's house and left a note on the door saying: "Travis, Sky's friend. He is missing, I'm worried something bad has happened."

Matthew McCoy was subsequently charged with stealing the truck. Burnley has never been heard from again.

Days after the disappearance, police found Brewer's cellular phone lying on the grass in a wooded area off Bridges Road, just feet from Brewer's front yard and nowhere near the area where Brewer and Morris said they had been searching with Burnley. McCoy admitted having thrown it out the window of the stolen truck.

Brewer and Morris were the last people known to have seen Burnley; they were arrested on misdemeanor drug charges after his disappearance. Photos of them are posted with this case summary.

Authorities found evidence of drug use at Brewer's home in Pearl, Mississippi, where Burnley spent the night of June 2/3, and they stated all three of them were involved in the drug trade. Brewer admitted that on the day of Burnley's disappearance, both he and Burnley had ingested methamphetamine.

Investigators stated there were discrepancies in the witnesses' stories and they are treating Burnley's disappearance as a probable homicide. Morris passed a polygraph in his case, but Brewer showed deception when he answered "no" to the question of if he knew what had happened to Burnley. He is considered the prime suspect in Burnley's disappearance.

Authorities theorized that Burnley was lured into the woods to be killed. They believe a street gang called the Simon City Royals may be connected to the case. According to one story, Burnley stole drugs from a dealer in Jackson, Mississippi; he may have been killed in retaliation for the theft.

Burnley didn't normally carry cash at the time of his disappearance. He kept in regular touch with his grandmother, whom he cared for. His case remains unsolved.

Updated 2 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated August 5, 2018; photo and medical conditions added, details of disappearance updated.