Gwinnett County

Metro Atlanta mother desperate for answers months after missing son’s remains found in Alabama

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — A metro mother is headed to Alabama to search for facts months after her son’s mysterious death.

Brian Estrada, 31, went to New Orleans last fall and then disappeared on his way home.

His bones were found in rural Alabama near his abandoned car.

Authorities initially thought it was a case of suicide, but there are clues that hint otherwise.

Estrada’s mother, Zoraida Henao, spoke to Channel 2′s Tony Thomas on Wednesday.

“What goes through your mind as you come in here?” Thomas asked as Henao showed him her son’s bedroom.

“Maybe one day I can find my son, but I can’t,” Henao said.

Police said Estrada’s running car was found in October in a field in rural Conecuh County, Alabama.


A Waffle House meal, his clothes and a backpack were still inside his car.

“They found it in the back of the car with his computer and gun,” Henao said.

Despite a large-scale search, nothing turned up until February. That’s when Estrada’s bones were found by a hunter about a mile away. Months later, Alabama authorities still don’t know how Estrada died or if someone else did it.

“You don’t think he killed himself?” Thomas asked Henao.

“No,” Henao said.

The mother admits that her son had been depressed after losing his job during the pandemic, but insists he was on the upswing.

Henao said investigators found her son’s credit cards tossed around his remains. His wallet is still missing.

The heartbroken mother said she will leave for Alabama Wednesday evening hoping to get answers from authorities or at least get her son’s remains back.

“I just need help to find answers,” Henao said.

Thomas tried contacting Alabama authorities for comment about this story. They all referred him to the local district attorney, who did not return his messages.

Thomas was told Estrada’s remains may be with specialists in Florida who are working to figure out a cause of death.