KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — The new season of podcast hopes to help a Southwest Michigan family find a woman who was reported missing more than three years ago.
“Out of sight, out of mind,” James Baysinger says in his podcast “Hide and Seek.” “Unfortunately, that’s what seems to have happened to Brittany.”
Brittany Shank, 23, was last seen on the night of Nov. 30, 2018, on Fawn River Road near Halfway Road, east of Sturgis. Shank’s mother said she went to her grandmother’s to do laundry and crashed on the way home. Investigators found her car with only minor damage, but no Shank.
Baysinger told listeners Shank’s case has a number of “red herrings.”
“It isn’t normal to have these many theories and suspects. So what’s going on here? I’m going to take you guys back to the beginning,” he says in the podcast.
Baysinger is a former insurance agent from Washington state. He is on his third season of “Hide and Seek.”
“Brittany’s was a case that was brought to us along with lots of other cases. In my selection process of trying to figure out where I feel like would be a good fit for me, I narrowed it down to Brittany and just felt like this is the case that I wanted to start my third season on,” he told News 8.
He researched the case for a year, including flying from Washington to Michigan to talk to Shank’s friends and family.
“As time has gone on, and I’ve talked to more and more people, the word has spread, like ‘Hey, this guy is legit, he’s trying to do the right thing, he can be trusted, he’s here for Britt,'” Baysinger said. “It’s gotten easier as time goes on.”
Sometimes, that wasn’t the case, including an unexpected phone call from Shank’s husband.
“You kind of raise your eyebrows at that,” Baysinger said. “What’s going on? Why? Again, you’re trying to get them to understand and convince them that you’re here for the right reasons, so, you try to deescalate the situation to the best of your ability. But again, sometimes, people just don’t want to talk.”
He hopes that his episode will prompt someone to come forward with answers.
“This is something I’m passionate about, I enjoy doing. I love trying to catch the bad guy, trying to figure out what happened,” he said. “When I investigate these cases, my plan is just figure out the truth. My plan is to find the person who is responsible. My plan is to provide the information to law enforcement so that we can have an arrest, we can know what happened. Because when you ask these families what’s the hardest part, they all say the same thing — they all say it’s not knowing.”
Michigan State Police have taken over Shank’s case. News 8 reached out for an update but has yet to hear back.