The family of a 36-year-old San Mateo man who went missing on Feb. 16 only wants one thing — for him to come home.
Brian Butler’s vehicle was found abandoned on Highway 1 and had recently been feeling depressed because of the breakup with his girlfriend of 14 years in September and other stresses. Butler’s friends reported him missing late Sunday, Feb. 16 after they found his unoccupied vehicle parked along the side of Highway 1 south of the Tom Lantos Tunnels. Friends and family say he wasn’t suicidal.
“We all love Brian and we all want him home,” said Wyatt Fields, who has been friends with Brian since third-grade. “I know the detectives can only do so much, but we just need more information. Something is not adding up; I believe someone out there knows something they’re not saying. Someone needs to come forward.”
Brian’s brother Richard Butler believes Brian just needed space. Brian had recently searched “Is it a crime to run away” on his computer, his family says.
“My theory is he ran a diversion,” Richard Butler said. “I don’t care how not right he was thinking. He wouldn’t have went up there and jumped off any cliff. He just wanted to get sleep and rest.”
Brian’s brother Kevin Butler says Brian’s friend Mike Murtha was the last person to see him before he went missing.
“Brian told him, ‘Don’t believe what they say, I just need to get off the grid for a while,’” Kevin Butler said.
So far, Brian’s family and friends have created a Facebook page called “Find Brian Butler” and have raised $4,000 to help find him. They are currently trying to figure out what to put the money toward and are considering hiring a private investigator. They said they’ve put up fliers everywhere from the Peninsula down to Santa Cruz and have volunteers out searching for Brian.
Brian worked from home doing Internet security sales for a company called FishNet Security. Richard Butler said Brian was feeling overwhelmed, didn’t want to have to worry about sales and wanted a normal job. Brian had recently invested about $10,000 in a rap production, acting and helping produce a video, Richard Butler said. Ultimately, the rapper didn’t like the footage and Brian felt like he had wasted his time, Richard Butler said.
“He wanted to get out of it (Internet security sales) do something he was more passionate about,” Fields said. “He was kind of trying to purge himself. … He was a comedian. He’s been through so much, but he always wanted to know how you were doing and that’s why I think Brian might be out there.”
Brian attended Half Moon Bay High School and then Hillsdale High School. His family and friends say the disappearance of Brian is taking its toll on them.
“This has been devastating,” Kevin Butler said. “I was staying over there with him a lot; he just wanted somebody to take care of him. … He was so positive. He always took it upon himself to be the rock of the family, especially after our mom’s death and he always trying to get our dad healthy.”
Brian Butler is described as standing 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighing 155 pounds and having brown hair and eyes. He was last seen wearing a blue T-shirt and jeans.
“We just want you to come home, Brian,” Richard Butler said. “You’re not in trouble.”
For updates on the case and to get in contact about helping the family, visit facebook.com/findbrianbutler. Anyone with information or who sees Brian should contact Detective Lisandro Lopez at 363-4055 or the Sheriff’s Office Anonymous Tip Line at (800) 547-2700. The Sheriff’s Office is still actively searching for Brian, but there is no new information on the case, said Rebecca Rosenblatt, public information officer at the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office.