Laurence Kailanii Brannum

Laurence, circa 2009

  • Missing Since 04/15/2009
  • Missing From Santa Maria, California
  • Classification Lost/Injured Missing
  • Sex Male
  • Race Black
  • Date of Birth 06/30/1999 (24)
  • Age 9 years old
  • Height and Weight 4'9, 64 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics African-American male. Brown hair, brown eyes. Laurence goes by his middle name, Kailanii.

Details of Disappearance

Laurence was last seen in Santa Maria, California at 10:00 a.m. on April 15, 2009. He was camping in the area with friends. While playing on the rocks at the north end of Paradise Beach, near Mussel Rock, Laurence was knocked over by a wave and swept out to sea.

The area where he was is very remote and accessible only by foot, and you had to walk for three hours to get cellular phone reception, so the authorities didn't begin the search of Laurence until after 4:00 p.m. An extensive search turned up no sign of him or his body. The ocean in that area is rough and very dangerous, and others have died after being swept into the water in similar circumstances.

Laurence was adopted by a single woman as an infant; she also adopted his three older siblings. His family describes him as an outdoorsy and adventurous child who loved animals, nature, sports and memorizing Bible verses. He was in the third grade at Harloe Elementary School at the time of his disappearance. He is presumed to have drowned, but he remains listed as missing since his body has never been recovered.

Investigating Agency

  • Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office 805-681-4100

Updated 2 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated December 9, 2012; two pictures added.