LITTLETON, Colo. (KDVR) — The family of a missing woman who survived the Columbine massacre is pleading for help finding their daughter.
Oct. 1 is Brandi Jo Malonson’s 38th birthday, but her family isn’t able to celebrate with her. She has been missing for nearly 15 years.
“Every birthday is harder and harder to get through. Every day we think about her, so it’s not only on birthdays. But on birthdays, when you don’t get to celebrate with your child, that’s the hardest part,” Brandi’s mother, Linda Malonson, said.
Brandi was a freshman at Columbine High School when the mass shooting happened.
“Everybody has that day when something in their life has changed and it’s never going to be the same. Columbine is probably that day for us. She was a normal little teenager until it happened, then after Columbine, I just really think she is a victim of all that. That was day one when it all started. It totally changed our life. It changed everyone’s life,” her mother continued.
Brandi was always there for her friends and lost several to shootings and suicides in the years following Columbine.
“She was that person that would go up and hug them. Brandi wasn’t one that wanted help. I really tried to get her into counseling and do different things. But she was always the one to reach out to friends and she was the hugger and wanted to take care of you,” Linda said.
That took a toll on Brandi. She graduated from Columbine and started to pursue a career in nursing, but she got caught up with the wrong crowd and was introduced to meth.
“The day after Christmas in 2006, on December 26th, she left smiling, happy. She said, ‘I’m leaving, mom, I’ll be back, I promise. And I’ve never seen her again,” Linda said.
At first, her parents thought she was just missing, but as time passed, they knew something was wrong.
“Somebody reached out to me and said, ‘They took care of her.’ I still, to this day, do not know what that means. But it was enough to make me go to the sheriff’s office in Jefferson County,” said Linda.
Investigators have little to go on, but her family hasn’t given up hope of finding her.
“I haven’t moved from my house, hoping she would come home. I didn’t get rid of my landline forever,” Linda said. “People are asking, ‘How can you go on?’ Well, you have to. There’s not really another choice. Hanging on to family and faith. You have to go forward, but you still continue to look. Right now, I don’t have any places to look.”
The family would like answers.
“Somebody knows what happened. Maybe they’ve recovered from their drug addiction if they were part of that and they want to come forward. I hope they do. It’s just a sad situation. I don’t want anyone to ever go through what we’ve gone through. I’m a very forgiving person. Even if somebody said, ‘I did that to her or helped with that,’ I’d probably forgive them because I know they’re going through a lot. You can’t let that beat down on your soul,” Linda said.
“I want closure. The best thing is, I’d love for her to come home and give us a big hug … but I don’t know. I just want somebody to come forward and say, ‘I know this happened’ and we need proof,” said Linda.
If you have any information that could help find out what happened to Brandi Jo Malonson, call our partners at Metro Denver Crime Stoppers. The tipline is 720-913-STOP. You could be eligible for a cash reward, and Brandi’s family would be extremely grateful.
Click here to follow developments in the Brandi Jo Malonson case.