L.A. Music Video Director Travis Peterson Has Been Reported Missing

Travis Peterson went missing on the afternoon of Dec. 29.
Travis Peterson went missing on the afternoon of Dec. 29.
Photo by Megan Alderson, courtesy of Emilie Halpern

[Update, Saturday, Jan. 7, 1:45 p.m.: Peterson's body was found in a parking garage in La Cañada Flintridge last night, Friday, Jan. 6.]

Local filmmaker and music video director Travis Peterson has gone missing, according to both his wife and a Los Angeles Police Department missing persons notice.

Peterson has worked for years as a go-to music video director for L.A.'s indie rock scene, creating work for artists like Glass Candy, Nite Jewel, Ariel Pink and Nedelle Torrisi. Recently, Peterson worked as a freelance cameraman and editor at BBC News, where he covered the U.S. presidential election.

In addition to directing videos, Peterson also produced Julia Holter's 2016 "Everytime Boots" video and worked as director of photography on recent videos by Seth Bogart.

Peterson's wife Emilie Halpern posted a screenshot of the LAPD missing persons notice on social media late Wednesday, asking friends to share it widely. Halpern's post notes Peterson was last seen at a 76 gas station in La Cañada Flintridge, on the 1500 block of Foothills Boulevard.

According to the notice, Peterson drives a silver 2002 Volvo wagon with the California license plate 4YCV509. "Peterson is described as a 40-year-old male with blond hair and green eyes," the notice reads. "He stands 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighs around 180 pounds."

An LAPD representative responding to questions from L.A. Weekly late Thursday said there have been no updates on the case since the notice was posted on Wednesday.

Halpern tells L.A. Weekly she received a voice message from Peterson around 2 p.m. on Dec. 29 but has not been able to reach him since.

A credit card charge on an account she shares with Peterson pointed to the 76 station in La Cañada Flintridge.

Police confirmed, after reviewing security camera footage, that Peterson had been at the gas station that day, she says.

Halpern suspects that after filling up buying a bottle of water at the station, Peterson might have gone for a drive on the Angeles Crest Highway, which winds through the Angeles National Forest, something he did often.

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Halpern filed her initial missing persons report on Dec. 30. On Jan. 3, she says, the LAPD sent a police helicopter to search the area where Peterson may have been driving; Halpern also hired a private investigator to search for her missing husband.

She says she also hoped to use cell tower information to locate Peterson, but has been told a subpoena is required to retrieve the records she would need.

Since posting the LAPD notice on social media, Halpern says she's experienced an outpouring of support from friends and colleagues.

"I've had so many friends reach out, it's incredible," she says. "The whole community has come together to try to help me. I have two different cars in the mountains, of friends driving around to find him."

On Wednesday, LAPD also sent out a tweet requesting the public's help in finding Peterson:

Musicians who have worked with Peterson, including Nite Jewel and Geneva Jacuzzi, also shared the notice on their Instagram accounts, amidst a swell of support on social media.

Anyone with information on Peterson's whereabouts is urged to contact Detective L. Saiza of the Missing Persons Unit at (213) 996-1800. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed (877) LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247).

[Note: An earlier version of this article gave the wrong license plate number for Peterson's car. The plate number has since been corrected. We deeply regret the error.]


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