NELSONVILLE, Ohio (WCMH) — “I miss him.”
Those three words from Linda Johnson, grandmother of Bryan “Kyle” Bridgeman, encapsulate why his family is not giving up the hunt — even though they realize Bridgeman is most likely dead.
The last time Linda saw her grandson, he was heading off down the road with his friend Paul “PJ” Coon.
“I was outside here, and Bryan said he was going to buy a video game off a friend, and PJ was there, and he hollered, ‘You remember me,’ and I said, ‘Yeah, I remember you.’
“Bryan said, he was going to start walking, and they went down the road. The last thing Bryan said to me was, ‘I love you, Grandma,’ and I said, ‘OK.’ And I think back and I wish I’d said, ‘I love you, too.’ But I thought he was going to be coming back, and it would be the same.”
Lina Wilson — a.k.a. Ghost Dog, team leader for Golden Hearts a Voice 4 the Voiceless, a search-and-recovery team from Coshocton — joined the search for Bridgeman on his birthday in August.
“Our goal is hanging flyers out in the areas that we know ATV people are riding, dirt bike riders, horse back people, where farmers are at, anybody who’s hunting, any area that looks like you would hunt or fish,” Wilson said.
Wilson believes they could also discover the body of Kobe Roush, missing from Waverly in 2020, or Raymont Willis.
“I think he’s with me, reminding me of the things that he held dear to him,” said Johnson. “When he was little, I would sing to him You are My Sunshine every night. We would say the bedtime prayer.”
A breakthrough in the case came on Sept. 16, 2021, when Lindsay Coon Woolever, PJ Coon’s wife, was arrested in Nelsonville. The indictment mentions Bridgeman.