Bradley Blake Hanson, a 13-year-old boy from Phoenix, left his home early on November 10, 1995, ostensibly for school. Unbeknownst to Bradley’s mother, Centennial Middle School cancelled classes for Veteran’s Day, so Bradley made alternative plans. Instead, Bradley rode his mountain bike to the Ahwatukee Custom Estates in the 3200 block of East Piro Street, where he planned to spend the day with classmate and friend Jeremy Bach.
Bradley Was Not At Home
Bradley’s mother discovered that school had been cancelled later in the day and attempted to contact him to find out where he had gone. She paged Bradley all afternoon, but he didn’t respond, and he wasn’t at home when she got home that evening. As a result, his mother reported her son missing to the police. After authorities determined that Jeremy Bach was the last person to see Bradley, they interrogated him, and he provided an intriguing account. He claimed that he and Bradley were playing with firearms when Bradley fired the gun into the wall, leaving a bullet hole. Bradley panicked and fled to his mountain bike, according to Jeremy, when he realized what he had done.
This explanation was enough for the cops, who labeled Bradley a runaway. After two months, garbage collectors discovered bloodstains on the top and sides of the Bach family’s trashcan. The sanitation workers reported their discovery to authorities, and police then searched the garbage can. There were two inches of blood and bodily fluid at the bottom of the trash can, as well as blood stains in the Bach’s kitchen.
When the police re-interviewed Jeremy, he changed his story. He claimed that he shot Bradley in the chest by accident and dumped his body in the Butterfield Station Landfill trash can. Authorities were skeptical of Jeremy’s contradictory accounts of what occurred. They believed Jeremy shot Bradley over a disagreement about a girl they had both dated, and they noted that Jeremy did not assist Bradley after he was shot, and that Bradley died after more than an hour, according to Jeremy. Despite spending two months and $100,000 searching the Butterfield Station Landfill, Bradley was never found.
In February 1996, at the age of fourteen, Jeremy was charged with Bradley’s murder, making him the youngest person ever tried as an adult in Arizona. Jeremy was charged with second-degree murder in January 1998 and sentenced to a maximum of 22 years in prison. He was released from prison in 2018.
When it was discovered that Jeremy’s stepfather had owned the murder weapon, his family sued him, claiming that the gun had been improperly stored. They also claimed that the Bach family helped dispose of Bradley’s body and cover up. This is a popular belief. The case was eventually settled out of court, but I am unable to obtain the terms of the agreement.
Bradley was never found and is still considered missing. Authorities believe he is dead, and his body cannot be recovered from the Butterfield Station Landfill. Despite being convicted of murder and sentenced to 20 years in prison, Jeremy was released at the age of 36 and was free to live the rest of his life, something Bradley was denied at such a young age.
Bradley will turn 40 in November if he survives. When he was last seen, he was dressed in a black collared shirt, a white t-shirt, black jeans, green paisley-patterned boxer shorts, black sneakers with red laces, and an Armitron watch. He stood between 4’8 and 4’11 inches tall and weighed between 60 and 75 pounds. His eyes were blue, and his hair was black. It’s unknown if his mountain bike was ever found.