One of the most intriguing cases out there, the mystery of what happened to the Jamison family brings out the amateur sleuth in all of us. In October 2009, the Jamisons – Bobby, Sherilyn, and their six-year-old daughter, Madyson- disappeared from Eufaula, Oklahoma after heading out to remote territory in the Red Oak Mountain area with the hope of buying some land. They never returned home. Four years later in November 2013, their bodies were found, but their fate remains unknown.
About the Case
Bobby and Sherilyn Jamison had high hopes of buying 40 acres in the Red Oak Mountain area of Oklahoma, about 175 miles southeast of Oklahoma City. On October 8, 2009, the couple and their daughter, Madyson headed to the remote area in Bobby’s white pickup truck.
They never returned.
On October 16, 2009, hunters on dirt bikes found the Jamisons abandoned truck with their dog still inside and near death. Also inside the truck were the Jamisons coats, cell phone, a GPS, a spiteful 11-page letter to Bobby from Sherilyn, and $32,000 in cash. There was no sign of the Jamisons anywhere.
Latimer County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) was called. The police assumed the family was lost. However, after checking the GPS, they discovered that the Jamisons did not spend the majority of their time parked there. GPS coordinates lead the police up a hill where they find footprints. They follow the footprints and GPS up to a rock where a picture of Madyson was taken from the cell phone. The family returned to their truck to prepare to head home. What happened after that remains a mystery.
After speaking with the Jamison’s family, police discovered that a gun owned by Sherilyn had also disappeared.
Police and search volunteers scoured the area but did not find the family of three.
On October 23, 2009, police discovered that the Jamison’s family home had surveillance cameras set up from two different angles pointing to the driveway of the residence. They found footage of the family packing up the white pickup truck on October 8th, preparing to head to the mountain. When police looked closer at the surveillance video, they noticed Bobby and Sherilyn did not interact at all with one another, and each person made at least 20 trips back and forth to the truck as if in a trance. Madyson is seen off and on playing in the background. The police believe the couple may have been on drugs at the time.
In November 2013, four years after their disappearances, all three bodies were found by deer hunters about three miles from where the Jamison truck was found. The bodies were identified as Bobby, Sherilynn, and Madyson Jamison. However, cause of death could not be determined due to decomposition.
It is unclear why the bodies were not found in the search for the family, considering how close the bodies were to the truck.
Jamison Family Theories
Many crazy and not so crazy theories abound as to what may have happened to the family of three, although none have been substantiated.
Here are a few:
- They were murdered over drugs. Prior to their deaths, Bobby and Sherilynn had lost a lot of weight and looked emaciated. This, along with their strange behavior caught on tape prior to their disappearances and the amount of cash found in the pickup truck, suggests they were involved with drugs and were killed over a drug deal gone bad.
- Bobby’s father, Bob Jamison, murdered his own family because the father and son had been in a long dispute stemming from the profit of a gas station. Bob Jamison was reportedly very angry over this. However, police do not believe he killed the three.
- Murder-suicide. Both Bobby and Sherilynn suffered from depression. However, Sherilynn was worse after the death of her sister in 2007. So, the theory is that Sherilynn or Bobby killed the other and Madyson before taking his or her own life.
- The family got lost in the remote area and died of hypothermia. However, this does not explain why the dog was left in the truck. Madyson never left the dog behind.
- The most far-fetched of all theories is the witchcraft theory – somehow witchcraft was involved in the family’s deaths.
Almost eight years after they disappeared and four years after their bodies were found, the fate of the Jamison family remains a mystery.
True Crime Diva’s Thoughts
I personally believe the family was murdered either by drug dealers or people unknown to them who they came across at Red Mountain. Over what, I do not know. The drug theory is probably the most likely. The couple looked awful before they disappeared. It is clear in pictures that they had lost weight.
However, it is possible they stumbled upon something they shouldn’t have when they were up at Red Mountain. But whatever the motive was, it wasn’t robbery.
I found the surveillance video a bit interesting.
Take a look at the two pictures below. Note the different shirts Bobby is wearing in the video. First it’s a white T-shirt, and then in just a matter of three minutes, he is wearing a buttoned-up dark gray shirt. Maybe this isn’t Bobby. If it is Bobby, why did he change shirts? I believe there may be an additional person there. If you compare both pics, you can clearly see the jeans are different as well and the body frame is not the same. The fact that there could have been another person there might explain why the couple is not interacting in the video – they’re being told what to do and were afraid.
9/15/17: Because people were having problems seeing the old pic of the man in the gray shirt, I uploaded a new one. That is NOT a white shirt, clearly.
The police may have confirmed this was Bobby, but I thought it was worth mentioning.
The last photo of Madyson has been discussed numerous times over the Internet. I disagree with what the family and friends think. I do not think she looks distressed at all. To me, it looks like she is talking, and the way she crosses her arms says she was being a little defiant maybe. My daughter used to cross her arms when she either disagreed with what I was saying or she was trying to convince me of something. That’s what I see when I look at this photo.
The cops believe the family left this area and headed back to the truck where something happened. I agree. I think they ran into the wrong people. But if robbery wasn’t the motive, then what the hell was? Maybe they witnessed something. Perhaps it was drugs. Hard to say, but this case gives me a headache lol.
FYI – I personally chose NOT to include anything about the witchcraft theory. Mostly, because I feel it is absurd and had nothing to do with what happened to the Jamisons.
Also, if I wrote about every single thing I came across regarding this case, this post would be even longer than it is. If you want to know more, Google is your friend.
What do you think happened to the Jamison family?