"The Doe Network" : International Center for Unidentified & Missing Persons'
Case File: Melissa Lee Brannen - 159DFVA

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1 2 AP
Brannen, circa 1989; Right: Age-progressed image to age 21 (circa 2005)

Melissa Lee Brannen

  • Case Classification: Non-Family Abduction
  • Missing Since: December 3, 1989
  • Location Last Seen: Lorton, Fairfax County, Virginia
  • Physical Description
    ** Listed information is from the time of disappearance.

  • Date of Birth: April 13, 1984
  • Age at Time of Disappearance: 5 years old
  • Race: Caucasian
  • Gender: Female
  • Height at Time of Disappearance: 3'0
  • Weight at Time of Disappearance: 38 pounds
  • Hair Color: Light brown hair
  • Eye Color: Blue
  • Alias(s) / Nickname(s): Unknown
  • Distinguishing Marks/Features: A burn scar on her right forearm.
  • Dentals: Not available
  • Fingerprints: Not available
  • DNA: Available
  • Clothing & Personal Items
  • Clothing: A navy blue sweater with a yellow Big Bird applique; a blue and red plaid skirt; red tights; black patent leather shoes with gold bows; and a pink hooded jacket.
  • Jewelry: Unknown
  • Additional Personal Items: Unknown
  • Circumstances of Disappearance

    Brannen was last seen during a holiday party at the Woodside Apartment Clubhouse in Lorton, Virginia on December 3, 1989. She lived with her mother in the apartment complex at the time. She disappeared from the festivities and has never been seen again.

    Caleb D. Hughes was developed as a suspect within hours of the abduction. Hughes was employed as a grounds keeper at Woodside Apartments at the time of Brannen's disappearance. The Federal Bureau Of Investigation (FBI) examined blood and fiber evidence from Hughes' vehicle in the weeks following Brannen's disappearance. He was convicted of abducting Brannen in 1991 and sentenced to 50 years in prison. Melissa has never been found.

    Investigating Agency(s)
    If you have any information about this case please contact;

  • Agency Name: Fairfax County Police Department Criminal Investigations Bureau.
  • Agency Contact Person: Det. Bob Murphy
  • Agency Phone Number: 703-246-7800 OR 703-2456-7890

  • Agency Case Number: 893371483
  • NCIC Case Number: M395923188
  • NCMEC Case Number: NCMC732677
  • NamUs Case Number: MP #1797
  • Please refer to this number when contacting any agency with information regarding this case.

    Information Source(s)
  • NamUs

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