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Bradley Blake Hanson: Lost In Dark

Bradley Blake Hanson, age 13, left his Phoenix home on the morning of November 10, 1995, ostensibly to go to school. Unbeknownst to Bradley’s mother, Centennial Middle School canceled classes due to Veteran’s Day, and Bradley made alternative arrangements. Bradley instead rode his mountain bike to the Ahwatukee Custom Estates in the 3200 block of East Piro Street, where he would spend the day with his classmate and friend, Jeremy Bach.

Pic: FB Page

Bradley Was Not At Home

As the day progressed, Bradley’s mother realized that school had in fact been canceled and attempted to contact him to determine where he had gone. She paged Bradley throughout the afternoon, but he never responded, and he was not at home that evening when she returned. This resulted in his mother calling the police to report her son as missing. Once authorities determined that Jeremy Bach was the last person to see Bradley, they interrogated him, and he provided a fascinating account. He claimed that he and Bradley had been playing with firearms and that Bradley had accidentally fired the gun into the wall, causing a bullet hole. Jeremy reported that once Bradley realized what he had done, he panicked and fled on his mountain bike.

This explanation appeared sufficient to the police, who then classified Bradley as a runaway. After two months, garbage collectors at the Bach residence discovered bloodstains on the top and sides of the family’s trashcan. The sanitation workers reported their discovery to the authorities, and police subsequently searched the garbage can. They discovered two inches of blood and body fluid pooled at the bottom of the trash can, as well as blood stains in the Bach’s kitchen.

Jeremy

Jeremy was reinterviewed by the authorities, and he changed his story. He claimed that he accidentally shot Bradley in the chest and placed his body in the trash can destined for the Butterfield Station Landfill. Authorities did not believe Jeremy’s differing accounts of the accident’s occurrence. They believed that Jeremy shot Bradley because of a dispute over a girl they had both dated, and pointed out that Jeremy did not help Bradley after he was shot, and that Bradley took over an hour to die, according to Jeremy. Tragically, despite spending two months and $100,000 scouring the Butterfield Station Landfill, Bradley was never located.

Jeremy was charged with the murder of Bradley in February 1996, at the age of fourteen, making him the youngest person to be tried as an adult in the state of Arizona. Jeremy was charged with second-degree murder in January 1998 and sentenced to a maximum of 22 years in jail. He was released from prison in 2018.

When it was discovered that the murder weapon was a gun owned by Jeremy’s stepfather, Bradley’s family filed a lawsuit against him on the grounds that the gun had been improperly stored. They also stated that the Bach family helped dispose of Bradley’s body and aided in a cover-up. This is a widely held theory. The case was eventually settled out of court, but I cannot locate the terms of the settlement.

Bradley has never been located and remains on the list of missing persons. Authorities believe he is deceased, and there is no hope of recovering his body from Butterfield Station Landfill. Despite the fact that Jeremy was convicted and spent 20 years in prison for the murder, he was released at the age of 36 and was free to live the rest of his life – an opportunity that was denied to Bradley at such a young age.

If Bradley is still alive, he will turn 40 in November of this year. He was last seen wearing a black collared shirt, a white t-shirt, black jeans, green paisley-patterned boxer shorts, black sneakers with red laces, and an Armitron watch. He stood between 4’8 and 4’11 inches tall and weighed between 60 and 75 pounds. He had dyed his hair black and eyes blue. It is unknown whether his mountain bike was ever recovered.

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