Family still searching for man 7 years after he left club

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After seven years of searching, a family continues to spread awareness while investigators remain stumped by the disappearance of Brandon "Peanut" Graves, who was last seen by friends at a night club in 2010.

Graves, a native of Dillon County, came to Sumter to celebrate homecoming at Morris College. He attended the local college before transferring to Coastal Carolina University, from which he graduated with a degree in sports management.

During his visit, Graves went to the former Sebastian's Night Club on Broad Street with some friends on the night of Jan. 30.

While at the club, Graves was asked to leave the club because he was displaying odd behavior. Graves' friends said his behavior that night was out of character, Capt. Robert Burnish with Sumter County Sheriff's Office said.

After Graves was removed from the club, surveillance footage showed that he tried to reenter the club before he was stopped by security. He then walked out of camera view, and that was the last time he was seen, Burnish said.

Graves was staying with friends at an apartment complex behind Sumter Mall and rode to the club with those friends.

Burnish said deputies searched the wooded area behind the club, the area around the mall and the apartment complex, but Graves was not there. The search even went all the way to Myrtle Beach, he said.

He said Graves' friends also did not know what happened to him after he left the club.

Someone has information, and he or she should come forward for the sake of Graves' family which is still active in the search, Burnish said.

They want to keep the public aware that he is missing, he said.

Every year, Graves' family holds a ceremony at the location of the club to raise awareness about his disappearance and to gain information about what happened to him.

Martha German, Graves' cousin, said he was a funny, happy and lovable person.

German raised Graves, along with her two sons, after his mother died when he was 3.

"He was the baby," she said.

While at Coastal Carolina, Graves became the manager of the football team, German said. She said the team was so fond of him that he continued to be the manager after he graduated.

"He was a pleasure to be around," she said.

It's strange the way he went missing, German said. Everybody who knows him knows that this is strange, she said.

"If not for the Lord, I don't know where we would be," she said.

German said the family and Graves' hometown hold events throughout the year to remember him.

"We just miss him," she said. "Someone will come forward and give us some closure."

Information about Graves' disappearance can be given anonymously by calling CrimeStoppers at (803) 468-2718 or 1-888-CRIME-SC. Information can also be given by calling Sumter County Sheriff's Office at (803) 436-2000.