Family seeks answers to son’s death


LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Brandon Mitchner touched the lives of many in his 22 years of life…he was a son, a brother and an uncle.

He died back in 2014 after drowning in the Grand River while out with a group of his friends.

His mother, Shirley Mitchner says friends didn’t seek help until it was too late.

“I can’t believe that he was with some people and they saw him in the Grand River and they did nothing,” said Shirley.

To this day, Shirley and her family are left wondering what happened the day her son lost his life…she says it’s an unsolved mystery.

“Was it a setup, was it intentional…I want to know what happened to my child,” Shirley stated.

Brandon’s best friend Jeremy Lyon says even though it’s been nearly 3 years, his death is still difficult to cope with.

“It was something that I’m not going to get past on how it happened and the reasons that could have been at least helpful to maybe keeping him alive,” said Lyon.

The 3 year anniversary of Brandon’s death is next month…in honor of that, his family members and friends gathered at a local cemetery for a “Celebration of Life” where they dedicated a bench in his name.

It was an emotional ceremony but one with purpose as Shirley continues the fight to figure out what happened that tragic day in June.

“There is 9 or 10 other states and several countries that have a law it’s called Duty to Act,” said Shirley.

She’s now working to bring that law to Michigan.

It would require people to take action and save a person’s life in any dangerous situation while not putting themselves in danger.

“If I can save one family from going through what my family is going through…then it is so worth…so worth everything that we’re going through,” Shirley stated.

She says while it won’t bring her son back, it will help to prevent a tragedy in her son’s memory.

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