The Austin Police Department Missing person’s Unit is requesting the community’s assistance with obtaining information regarding a case of a missing person that occurred on March 9, 1976 and was reported on February 2, 2021.
According to Amanda Vargo Wattecamps, Vargo’s niece, during a news conference, she said someone discouraged her grandmother from filing a missing persons report back in 1976, but the family wanted to do so now after all these decades.
Brian Vargo was a University of Texas at Austin student in 1974. He shared a dorm room with a friend he graduated with from Westchester HS. Brian made the Dean’s list in 1975 for his Engineering studies and everything was going good for him. Im 1975, Brian returned home to Houston during the summer break to work at Safeway. During that time he was caught with some marijuana and was booked in River Oaks. He was put on probation.
In the fall of 1975, Brian returned to school and he and his roommate moved to the Tinnin Ford apartments and added another roommate. It was that semester that Brian began doing bad in school. Brian want home to Houston for Christmas and returned to school after the Christmas break, by his mother who dropped him off at a bus station 9which the family can’t remember which one now.) Unknown to his family during that time, he applied to withdraw from school with plans to return that summer.
I was not clear on a few things on Brian’s case so reached out to Amanda that held a press conference this week to bring attention to Brian’s case. Specifically, I asked about the car being in an accident and wallet left behind as I was confused about it. She helped clarify by stated that after March 9, what happened to Brian is assumptions.
On March 9, 1976, it is believed Brian left school because his approval for withdrawal from UT was March 9, 1976. The family also found a college newspaper dated March 9, 1976 left in his room. Those to events led to the assumption that Brian left school at that time. What happened to him after is unknown. Some of the family believes he went to Colorado and had his car title with him. Other’s are looking for information from outside sources that had talked with Brian after that date to confirm or disprove this theory.
A few days later, Brian’s roommates noticed he was not around and the family not hearing from him, contacted his roommates and found out they had not seen him. Brian’s sister and brother-in-law went to his apartment and found all his belongings were still there. They found a few journals and they were able to piece together some of Brian’s past by reading the journals. Amanda said, “My Aunt specifically says she remembers thinking it was weird that his wallet and ID were there. BUT, we currently do not have the ID or wallet, but we do have an envelope that she wrote ‘papers that were in wallet’ on.”
So, assuming there was a wallet and it has just been lost over time, then this leaves the question whether the wallet was even the wallet Brian was carrying around with him. Maybe he left it at the apartment because he was carrying around a new wallet that he put his ID in.
Then we have the press release from the City of Austin that specifically states Brian was in Colorado and his wallet was found inside the apartment:
“Brian Vargo was a University of Texas at Austin Student who stopped attending school and traveled to Colorado in his vehicle. Vargo’s vehicle had a mechanical break down in Colorado. Vargo then traveled to Houston, Texas to pick up the vehicle’s title. On an unknown day and time, Vargo’s mother dropped him off at the bus station in Houston. His family was later notified that Vargo did not return to his apartment located in Austin. When family arrived at his apartment, Vargo’s wallet was found inside.”
His ID has never found and his social security earning statement from 1980 States “1951 thru 1976” he earned money, but earned nothing in 77, 78, 79.
So, at this point there is no real known last date the family can state that Brian went missing and they are relying on help from the public to help them figure that out. If you knew Brian and have some information about him that you can share with the family please contact APD Missing persons at 512-974- 4123 or the Facebook page set up for Brian, Searching for Brian Vargo.