Even 30 years after the disappearance of 5-year-old Melissa Brannen, Virginia Police have not given up hope of finding Melissa. Melissa Brannan was abducted in 1989 while she was attending a Christmas party, her abduction shocked the Washington area and sparked a search which unfortunately yielded no result.
Melissa's body has still not been found and her case is still considered an unsolved homicide by Fairfax police despite the conviction of the groundskeeper who was working in the complex where the Christmas party was being held. Caleb D. Huges was convicted in 1991 for Melissa's abduction. For most, this would have provided closure but not for Melissa's mother or police. Hughes was convicted for 50 years but was granted parole after 30. Presently he resides in a half-way house in Lynchburg. Hughes even after the conclusion of his sentence maintains his innocence and denies abducting Melissa.
Tammy Brannen, Melissa's mother has denied all this time to have her daughter declared dead and has always kept hope that her daughter is alive. Detective Connie Bates while talking to local media has said that Melissa's case is on the mind of every cold-case detective and that the police are hoping that after 30 years those that had known Hughes would now feel compelled to come out with new information. The police have also re-examined the evidence from 30 years ago using new technologies available to them.
Melissa and her mother were at a Christmas party on December 3 and were preparing to leave around 10 pm when according to Melissa's mother she allowed Melissa to go and get more chips but Melissa ever returned. Upon finding an open window and her daughter missing Melissa's mother started screaming for help. The whereabouts of Hughes for the time when Melissa went missing is unaccounted for.