JOHNS CREEK, Ga. - The investigation into disappearance of a 31-year-old Indiana mother continues as speculation builds behind the case.
Cierra Breland was last seen on the evening of Feb. 24 at her mother-in-law's home, the Johns Creek Police Department said. Ciera was visiting with her husband, 37-year-old Xavier Breland, with the couple's 5-month-old son, Jackson. It was the second leg of the family's swing through Georgia. That previous weekend, Ciera had visited her mother and father as well as her niece and nephew in Cleveland, Georgia.
According to a missing person's report, Ciera was last seen around 10 p.m. walking to the store in Carmel, Indiana, wearing short a black top and purple shorts in temperatures that were in the mid- to upper-20s. That report was filed by her husband, Xavier.
Ciera (Locklair) Breland (Family photo)
A few days after that report was filed, Xavier was arrested in Indiana on an unrelated, outstanding warrant for aggravated stalking in Coweta County, Georgia. He is currently being held in the Hamilton County jail awaiting extradition.
At the same time he was taken into custody, investigators named Xavier as a person of interest in the disappearance of his wife, Ciera. He has not been charged in connection to her disappearance.
Xavier Breland Jr., was arrested in Indiana for an outstanding warrant in Coweta County, Georgia on March 1, 2022. (Hamilton County Sheriff's Office)
Since her disappearance, family members have organized searches and have been discussing any leads in a Facebook group titled "Where is Ciera (Locklair) Breland?" FOX 5 has reviewed some of the most asked questions and have tried to find the answers.
A missing person's report to the Carmel Police Department states Ciera Breland was last seen at this home in the Brookstone Park of Carmel subdivision in Carmel, Indiana on Feb. 25, 2022. (FOX 59)
Why do police say Ciera Breland was last seen in Carmel, Indiana?
The Carmel Police Department is the lead on the investigation. Xavier Breland filed a missing person's report for his wife claiming she was last see wearing short a black top and purple shorts in temperatures that were in the mid- to upper-20s. This was the information law enforcement had when they began their investigation.
Ciera (Locklair) Breland (Family photo)
Did Ciera Breland make it back to Indiana?
Despite the missing person's report stating Ciera was headed to a store near the family's home, Ciera's family said investigators told them there was no surveillance video or store receipts to back up the claim. Right now, the last time Ciera was seen was at 7:17 p.m. on Feb. 24 at a home along Highgate Manor Court in the Parsons Walk subdivision in Johns Creek, police said. The address given by police is the same address family members have said is the home of her mother-in-law.
Family and friends of Ciera Breland pass out flyers in Johns Creek on March 11, 2022. (FOX 5)
How did police determine Ciera Breland’s last-known location?
Police have not said how they knew Ciera was seen at 7:17 p.m. on Feb. 24 at a home along Highgate Manor Court in the Parsons Walk subdivision in Johns Creek. Police do not always reveal their sources in the course of an investigation to preserve the integrity of a possible court case.
Investigators have said they have been scouring through both personal and business surveillance video in the neighborhood and surrounding areas to try to piece together a timeline. TThat was one of the reasons Friday's search targeted two neighborhoods along Medlock Bridge Road and why police have targeted two locations along Kimball Bridge Road using electronic signs. The goal, police said, was to help gather more information, especially video evidence.
Ciera Breland (Johns Creek Police Department)
Investigators said they have been using cell phone data to help piece together their timeline.
"We are pulling in every resource we can," said Lt. Hood on Friday.
What areas have been searched for Ciera Breland?
Friday, two weeks after a missing person's report was filed in Indiana, family, friends, police, and volunteers gathered to canvass a couple neighborhoods in Johns Creek. Their focus on Friday was two neighborhoods along Medlock Bridge Road where police believe Ciera may have traveled through during her stay in Georgia.
In addition to the flyers being passed out, the Johns Creek Police Department also set up electronic signs at two places along Kimball Bridge Road asking for the public's help. They also have reached out to several commercial electronic sign companies to help plaster Ciera's face and information across metro Atlanta.
Ciera (Locklair) Breland (Family photo)
Flyers have also been posted in and around the family's home in Carmel, Indiana.
The family also hopes their efforts Friday and the efforts of the two police departments as well as state and local agencies will help push the investigation forward. They also are hopeful the $10,000 reward will net more tips.
Family and friends of Ciera Breland canvass neighborhoods off Medlock Bridge Road on March 11, 2022 where she may have visited during her stay in Georgia (FOX 5)
Why haven’t more areas been searched for Ciera Breland?
Several locations have been suggested to conduct a search for evidence into Ciera Breland's disappearance.
Georgia alone has more than 85,000 acres of state parks, nearly two million acres of land controlled by the U.S. Department of the Interior, and more than 300,000 acres of undeveloped land. Fulton County along has 440 acres of parks. There are also hundreds of thousands of acres of railroad and utility easements, both used and unused. Of Georgia’s 37,295,360 total acres, a good 15% to 20% are covered in vegetation.
This does not include Tennessee, Kentucky, and Indiana, other areas driven through by Ciera Breland and her husband.
"If we knew her last known location 100%, then we would push the investigation in that direction," Johns Creek Police Lt Gregory Todd Hood said Friday.
Where is Ciera Breland’s car?
The location of Ciera Breland's car is known, but it is more about where it was the week of Feb. 21 that family are most concerned about.
The family has been asking anyone who saw the white 2017 Volkswagen Tiguan with Georgia tag RMB 5869 during that time to call police to tell them when and where it was seen.
Also noteworthy, the vehicle has an FSU Law School frame around the license plate.
Police said forensic investigators have combed over the vehicle in the course of the investigation for evidence and released the vehicle.
The Johns Creek Police Department put up electronic signs asking for help in finding Ciera Breland on March 11, 2022. (FOX 5)
What happened to Ciera Breland’s baby?
Immediately following the arrest of Xavier Breland on March 1, 5-month-old Jackson was taken into state care. Ciera's parents Nick and Kelly Locklair have since been able to be with the infant and are working to bring the baby back home to Georgia.
Xavier Breland Jr., was arrested by the Newnan Police Department on aggravated stalking charges on June 2, 2022. (Coweta County Sheriff's Office)
Is Xavier Breland’s mother cooperating with police?
Investigators have not said if Xavier Breland's mother is fully cooperating with police or not.
Over the weekend, Ciera’s former sister-in-law Lauryn Locklair on Facebook made a direct appeal to Ciera's mother-in-law, whose house the 31-year-old mother was last seen.
She asked Ciera's mother-in-law to tell police any information she might have about her disappearance.
"Please come forward with any information you have. We don’t care if you remain anonymous. We just want to find her!" she wrote.
Ciera's family said they understood the position she is in, but also pleaded for any help she could provide.
Johns Creek police say investigators were able to last place Ciera Breland at this home on Highgate Manor Court on Feb. 24, 2022. (FOX 5)