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One month later, family still searching for answers in 26-year-old Braedan Rose's disappearance

The 26-year-old’s car was last seen on camera on October 6, 2022, in Walterboro, South Carolina.

UPDATE: On Thursday, November 17, one day after Braedan’s car was found, his body was discovered as well. Braedan’s uncle, Jason, told Dateline in a text that he called the impound lot that towed Braedan’s car and asked them where they towed it from. Jason told Dateline he arrived at the location in Ruffin, South Carolina, and could instantly “smell death.” He said he followed the smell and found his nephew’s body.

A press release posted on Facebook by the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office in South Carolina confirmed that Braedan was “found dead in the Ruffin area on November 17 around noon.” It adds that “law enforcement was advised the man battled drug addiction and had known mental health issues.”

The post goes on to say that authorities “conducted a search warrant on the car, found no evidence of foul play, and is awaiting autopsy results to determine the final cause of death.”

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UPDATE: On Wednesday, November 16, Braedan’s car was found. Braedan’s uncle, Jason, told Dateline in a text that he found the white Chevy Impala at an impound lot in Walterboro, South Carolina. According to Jason, highway patrol towed the car there at 7 p.m. on October 6 -- the same day Braedan was last heard from.

Jason told Dateline that investigators now have possession of the car.

There are no additional details at this time.

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“He kept trying to call me,” Jason Rose told Dateline. “He was very fearful.”

Jason last spoke to his nephew, 26-year-old Braedan Rose, on October 6, 2022.

“I sent him a voicemail and told him that, you know, I would call him as soon as I could,” Jason said.

He never heard from Braedan again.

Jason told Dateline Braedan was born to his sister Brandy in Kentucky, where the family is from, but was raised by their mother. Braedan moved with his grandmother to Avery County, North Carolina when he was in fourth grade. “He wanted to move to North Carolina with my mother and myself,” Jason said. Brandy died in 2013. Four years later Braedan’s grandmother died.

Growing up, Jason told Dateline his nephew was extremely involved in school. “He loved to, you know, play basketball,” Jason said. “He never got in trouble in school. He made good grades.”

Braedan Rose
Braedan RoseJason Rose

Jason told Dateline that Braedan wanted to further his education and briefly attended college. “He went to college at [East Tennessee State University] for a semester,” Jason said. “He was going to be a lawyer.”

But in 2018, not long after starting school, Braedan had a daughter with his girlfriend at the time. They named her Garden. To help support his daughter, Braedan began working instead of continuing his education.

Last year the couple broke up, and Garden was splitting her time between her parents in Tennessee.

At the beginning of October 2022, Braedan was in Jacksonville, Florida for work. According to Jason, Braedan’s most recent job was working for Clean Star International, which is based in Atlanta. “He was just, like, a maintenance cleaner,” Jason said.

Jason told Dateline that Braedan’s job required him to constantly travel, but his last known address was in Elizabethton, Tennessee. “He actually rented a house from the ex-girlfriends family members in Tennessee,” Jason said.

On Thursday, October 6, Braedan left Florida and, according to Jason, was on his way back to Tennessee to visit his daughter. Jason told Dateline he spoke with the hotel. “They have him checking into the hotel on October 5 and out on October 6,” Jason said.

Jason said he was texting with his nephew that day. “The first text came through at 10:22 a.m. saying he ‘needed 20 bucks to get home’,” Jason told Dateline. “The next text came in five minutes later saying, ‘I’m never going back to Florida again.’”

Then, Jason said, he received a strange text from Braedan that said: “the same car has been following me,” but Braedan had never mentioned a car following him before. Jason said that Braedan then called him several times, but he was working at the time and couldn’t pick up the phone.

“He never said anything else,” Jason said. “That was the last conversation anybody had with him.”

Jason told Dateline that over the next couple of days he tried to call Braedan, but there was no answer.

As time passed, Jason grew more and more worried, he said. So on the morning of October 14, he called one of Braedan’s two younger sisters. “I called his sister as soon as I got out of bed,” Jason said. “His sister informed me that [the ex-girlfriend] had just went that day and filed a missing persons report.”

Braedan and his daughter, Garden.
Braedan and his daughter, Garden.Jason Rose

Jason told Dateline that Braedan’s ex-girlfriend had been alarmed when he didn’t show up to pick up his daughter on October 6. “He was coming to Elizabethton to pick his daughter up from school,” Jason said. He added that it was the first time in a while that Braedan was going to be seeing his daughter. “He would have never missed this.”

Dateline tried to reach out to Braedan’s ex-girlfriend for her recollection of Jason’s plans, but has not yet received a response.

According to Jason, Braedan’s ex-girlfriend filed the missing person report with the Avery County Sheriff’s Office in North Carolina. Jason told Dateline he is unsure why the report was filed in North Carolina, but thinks it might be because that is where her family is from.

Dateline spoke with Chief Deputy Van Williams of the Avery County Sheriff’s Office, who confirmed that Braedan was reported missing on October 14, but did not say who filed the report. Williams said that Braedan’s vehicle, a white Chevy Impala, was captured on highway camera footage on October 6 in Walterboro, South Carolina.

Williams told Dateline that since Braedan was traveling, the search for him has been difficult.

“I mean, it’s kind of like looking for a needle in a haystack,” Williams said. “He could have been in North Carolina -- and we don’t know that. So there’s really no place to search.”

Chief Deputy Williams told Dateline that at this time, foul play is not suspected but that authorities “would not rule out anything.”

Jason told Dateline it’s extremely unlike Braedan to disappear. “Me and Braedan talked, if not every day, it was every other day,” Jason said. “He would call me and say, ‘Hey, Jay. This is what I’m doing. This is where I’m at.’”

But Jason hasn’t heard from his nephew in over a month, and has been searching as much as he can. “I’ve been to Asheville several times,” Jason said. “I had several people search around Nashville.”

But still, no sign of Braedan.

“He’s not the type of kid to just vanish,” Jason said. “To leave his little girl? Absolutely not.”

Braedan's white Chevy Impala.
Braedan's white Chevy Impala.Jason Rose

Braedan is 6’4”, around 250 lbs., with blonde hair and blue eyes. His white Chevy Impala with North Carolina tag #DZ6366 is also missing.

Anyone with information regarding Braedan’s whereabouts is asked to call the Avery County Sheriff’s Office at 828-733-3920.