Andy Bushard’s story will air on I, Witness tonight on Investigation Discovery. The Chico, California, man went missing from his home around Christmas in 2000. His body was finally discovered in a forest more than a year later. Carol Bushard investigated the case herself when the local police department failed to act. On tonight’s I, Witness episode “Mother Undercover,” Carol Bushard will recount the days and nights that she worried for her adopted son, who she believed was in grave danger. Law enforcement investigators will also have a hand in telling the story.
Missing Vietnamese Man Adopted In The 1970s Found Dead In Forest
Andrew Paul Bushard, also referred to as Andy, vanished without a trace in December 2000. His worried mother, Carol, had not heard from her son, who was now living on his own. Carol hadn’t realized that he was missing until a police officer from the sheriff’s department called her home looking for him.
Andy Bushard had some problems with the law in the past and had a warrant out for his arrest, News Review confirmed in their article.
“Andy was no angel, the Bushards acknowledge. He’d been evicted from his last place, done some minor thievery and once bought two rare parrots that he knew were stolen. He’d been given community service for that misdeed but had failed to complete it. He’d also probably used marijuana, they say, though he didn’t drink alcohol. But lately he’d seemed to be doing better, taking paralegal classes at Butte College and volunteering at Northern California Legal Services.”
But to Carol Bushard, that wasn’t reason enough for her son to stop communicating with his family. As the night turned into days, the Bushards knew without a doubt that if Andy was missing work and soccer practice then something had to be gravely wrong.
They couldn’t get any information about it from the police. And it seemed that the detectives didn’t believe that Andrew Bushard was missing. In fact, no one took his disappearance seriously, except his adoptive parents.
The Bushards swung into full gear, launching their own investigation into Andy’s disappearance. They learned that someone had seen his dogs running loose in the neighborhood. The police were given this information, along with the address in Cohasset, where he was renting a room.
What the Bushard’s didn’t know, according to News Review, was that someone had already contacted the police with information about Andy Bushard. The tipster informed detectives that Andy was murdered.
The tip wasn’t taken seriously because it was believed that the old man was delusional. The tipster, who turned out to be Herb Cope, even told police the name of the killer: 57-year-old Sam Parris. The Bushards were also shocked to learn that their son’s car had been located without their knowledge.
Sam Parris told investigators that Andy Bushard left the home on Cohasset Road and never returned. From there, he stated that he had no idea what happened to him. In the end, Parris ended up confessing to the murder.
According to his version of events, the two argued over drug use and rent money, causing Sam Parris to revert to his old Army days. It was all a blur, Parris later admitted. In a snap, he grabbed his gun and shot and killed Andy Bushard, who he claims tried to attack him.
The details were sad. But the Bushards were glad that they finally knew what really happened to Andy. His body was found in a canyon at the Los Padres National Forest. The body had been wrapped and covered over with brush. An autopsy performed on the remains stated that the victim had been shot.
Andy Bushard was born in Vietnam. He was adopted in the 1970s by the Bushards and brought home to live with them at their home in the United States. Andy was abandoned by his real mother on the lawn of the Good Shepherd Orphanage. Married for just four short years, the Bushards already had a daughter when they heard about Vietnamese children in need and decided to adopt.
Andy was listed under the name Nguyen Manh Van and called “Isaiah” by a Catholic nun, old records show.
This wasn’t the ending that they wanted for Andy. But Carol Bushard is glad to have had him for the years she did.
Samuel Eugene Parris was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole, Force 100 reported. To get even more background on the story, tune into I, Witness tonight on Investigation Discovery. It airs at 9/8 p.m. Central.
[Featured Image by Nick Ut/AP Images]