Family of Jesse Conger provide update

Courtesy photo from Find Jesse Missing Veteran Group on Facebook

There have been many theories over the last nine months of what happened to Jesse. So far, we only have a few concrete facts:

I. Jesse left his girlfriend’s Scottsdale apartment on Aug. 14, 2019. His cell phone, wallet, ID, and service dog, along with several other miscellaneous items including his iPad, suitcase, and gifts for his kids remained in the apartment. His pistol, a bottle of Xanax, and a bottle of Tramadol were NOT in the apartment.

II. Jesse received $60 cash back in the grocery store several days before Aug. 14. This was witnessed by Natasha, Jesse’s girlfriend, and confirmed by Detective Bailey of Scottsdale PD as being Jesse’s final banking transaction.

III. Jesse’s car was found on the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation on Jan. 23, 2020.

The following week was emotionally and physically draining as we worked to discover what happened to Jesse.

Jan. 26: Jesse’s longtime friend Tiffany Buttars and I went to the site where Jesse’s car was found.

Jan. 27: we picked up Jesse’s car from the San Carlos Apache impound.

Jan. 28: we flew in a small Cessna (plane) over the site where Jesse’s car was found.

Jan. 29: we cataloged everything in Jesse’s car and cleaned it.

What I’m about to say is going to hit some people hard, but please understand, even though I’ve shared as much as I can publicly, there is still quite a bit of detail, for lack of time, that I have NOT been able to disclose. Our family and Jesse’s closest friends are in agreement with my assessment of what happened:

On Aug. 14, 2019, Jesse took his firearm, the two bottles of pills, Xanax and Tramadol, and drove into the middle of nowhere and took his own life.

The simple truth is our armed forces are in crisis. Natasha told me that she cautioned Jesse on the amount of Xanax she witnessed him taking, and his response was “There’s not enough Xanax in the world to take away my pain.” On average, 22 veterans take their own lives everyday. There’s no mystery behind Jesse’s depression and PTSD. Everyone who knew him, knows he has been suicidal for many, many years.

I’ve spent almost eight weeks in Arizona, from January to March going over every possible detail and following every lead. I’ve talked to hundreds of people. I’ve followed the path he took between Scottsdale and the San Carlos Apache Reservation many times, and I feel acutely in-tune with his reasoning. Jesse has spent several months in an intensive, in-patient treatment center for his PTSD and depression. He knew what he needed to do to survive, but he also knew what he needed to do to self-destruct.

1.) He purchased Xanax, a dangerous drug that he knows makes him paranoid and forgetful, and started taking high doses of it.

2.)He left his service dog Oreo, money, and all means of communication in Natasha’s apartment.

3.)He drove in the exact opposite direction of his children.

4.) He drove until he came to a section of desert with no lights and turned down a small, dark dirt road.

5.) He drove to the very end a treacherous road that he knew would be impossible for him to drive back out of.

6.) He got out and walked away from the car.

7.) When he got to the place he was going, he swallowed all the pills and if that didn’t kill him, he had his pistol as back up.

In the past he’s gone out and participated in activities that distracted him just enough to keep from going through with it. But this time, when he set his mind to it, he did it in a way that no one could stop him. He didn’t want that phone call from the right person. He didn’t want to interact with anyone who would divert his objective. He hid himself away and didn’t give anyone a single clue of his intentions. He was in immense pain and he wanted it gone once and for all. This is the truth, I feel, with all of my broken heart.

Please, I know intentions are good when people keep insisting that I need to be positive and to keep hoping for “the best.” But what our family needs now is closure. What Jesse’s children need are his remains so they can receive his estate. What our country needs is to honor our hero.