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After two roommates disappeared, family members want answers

(NewsNation) — Family members are seeking any information on two roommates missing in Missouri who haven’t been seen in two years.

Ira Lee Briscoe and Limon Little were roommates living in West Plains, Missouri. They were last seen in December of 2020.

There’s little information on their disappearances, and police haven’t even confirmed the cases are connected or if their disappearances could be related to drug cartel activity in the area.

“This is an incredible mystery, because there’s so many things that could have happened here,” Law Olmstead, president of the Missing Persons Center, told NewsNation.

Briscoe loved to play guitar. He learned to play guitar as a child and the 25-year-old was teaching his own son to play. As a child, Briscoe battled leukemia, an experience his family said left him always living “full throttle.”

The last time Marilyn Briscoe, Ira Briscoe’s mother, saw him was Dec. 17, 2020. Then Briscoe and his roommate, 49-year-old Little, vanished without a trace.

  • Ira Briscoe was teaching his son guitar. (Marilyn Briscoe)
  • Briscoe learned to play guitar as a child. (Wendy Dunkin)
  • Briscoe’s family said he loved hunting and fishing. (Wendy Dunkin)
  • Briscoe left behind a young son when he disappeared. (Marilyn Briscoe)
  • Young Briscoe with his mother. (Wendy Dunkin)
  • Briscoe with his mother as an adult. (Marilyn Briscoe)
  • Marilyn has gone to great lengths to find her son, even crawling through caves. (Marilyn Briscoe)
  • Briscoe was last seen in December 2020. (Marilyn Briscoe)
  • Briscoe’s roommate, Limon Little, also disappeared.

The Howell County Sheriff’s Office posted about Briscoe’s disappearance online, noting he was “reported missing under suspicious circumstances” in a Facebook post.

Briscoe’s mother took to social media, pleading with people to come forward with information and refusing to give up.

The family admitted Briscoe had gotten involved with drugs over the years and possibly would have seen the cartels as a lucrative opportunity.

“He said, you don’t have to worry about me no more, Mom. I got it. I’m in with the cartels,” Marilyn Briscoe said.

In an effort to find her son, Briscoe has held vigils, releasing balloons in his honor. She’s also gone through dumpsters and climbed into caverns in an effort to follow every tip about where her son could be.

“I’m exhausted. Totally exhausted. You know what all this is from? It’s from me climbing in a cave the other day. For 3 hours. Me!,” she said on Facebook.

Marilyn Briscoe knows her best hope is to find her son’s remains.

“I was praying, ‘God, please just let me find it and let it be over. Let it be over,'” she said.

But after 27 months of searching, she still has no answers.

An update from police said they have issued multiple search warrants and several potential burial sites have been excavated, but no human remains have been found. The sheriff referred to the case as an open investigation.

The Briscoe family has been frustrated with the lack of progress.

“I am hoping that maybe they know things that they just can’t share,” said Wendy Dunkin, Briscoe’s cousin.

Center for Missing Persons President Law Olmstead said the lack of communication from law enforcement is an important factor in the case. There’s also the fact that statements from the family and from law enforcement don’t match up.

“I’ve heard that there are people behind bars that may be related to the situation. But there’s no true confirmation that any of the people that they’ve said have been suspects in this case have really not been named. And there’s been no release of information about what actually took place during the investigation,” he said.

He questions how much investigation law enforcement initially did in the case.

“I just believe that the investigation never started on the right foot. I don’t think the home was ever searched. I don’t think any electronic communication devices, phones, computers, anything, were searched,” Olmstead said.

Especially perplexing is how little is known about Briscoe’s roommate.

“Limon Little is like a mystery in himself. I’ve only seen one photograph of him online this whole time,” Olmstead said.

There have been no statements from Little’s friends or family, no other photographs and no indication of how he and Briscoe became roommates.

For Marilyn Briscoe, it doesn’t matter what her son might have been involved in. She just wants answers.

“All we’ve asked for is somebody to please tell us where our son is. That’s all. If it’s a body or whatever, we’ll take it,” she said.

The Sheriff’s Office said it has made nine arrests in connection with the case, all on unrelated charges. While no one has been directly charged in the disappearance of Little and Ira Briscoe, law enforcement has said those arrests have been used to move the investigation forward.

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