JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — We’ve followed the investigation into the disappearance of Ciera Locklair Breland for days and now her family is weighing in, saying they fear the worst.
The missing person case began late last month after Xavier Breland Jr. reported his wife missing after visiting family here in Georgia.
The case now involves police in two states, plus the FBI and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne spoke with Ciera Locklair Breland’s cousin, Luke Locklair, who said Ciera changed once she became involved with the man who is now a person of interest in her disappearance.
“It’s been really hard. I really don’t think anybody knows how to deal with it. We never expected anything like this to happen to our family,” Locklair said.
He told Winne that he and Ciera have been close his whole life. But now he’s wondering if they’ll ever be in close proximity again.
“Every time I think about it … I’ve cried a couple of times. It gets to me,” Locklair said.
“Is the family fearful the worst has happened?” Winne asked Locklair.
“Yes sir, they are because she would’ve reached out by now. She’s a really smart girl,” Locklair said.
Locklair says Ciera grew up in Northeast Georgia and spent most of her career practicing law with a big-name Atlanta firm.
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“The whole family looked up to her because she actually accomplished becoming a lawyer and passing her bar exam and actually accomplished what her dreams were,” Locklair said.
But he said months ago, Ciera had moved to Carmel, Indiana with her husband Xavier Breland Jr. -- a man now with a variety of legal troubles -- who reported her missing Feb. 26 in Indiana but has been named a person of interest by police in her disappearance.
“Did you notice a change in Ciera after she became involved with Xavier Breland Jr.?” Winne asked Locklair.
“Yes sir, I did. It was kind of dramatic,” Locklair said.
Locklair said family members have told him that in late February, Ciera had planned to return to Georgia and move in with her parents, without Breland Jr.
“Actually had her stuff packed to move back in,” Locklair said.
Breland is at the focus of a permanent family violence protective order involving another woman. A document from Breland’s side said he denied he violated any family violence act and/or other offenses.
We obtained a Fairburn document indicating an aggravated stalking charge and a Coweta County aggravated stalking indictment. We’re told an attorney filed a plea of not guilty.
Locklair said later this week, the family will convene to hand out copies of a flyer he’s designed, that they’re working with police in Johns Creek where Ciera and Breland Jr. had recently visited.
He said a relative recently brought Ciera’s dog Baker to him. Locklair said Ciera would never have willingly stayed away for so long from her 5-month-old baby or from Baker.
“Baker was like her baby before she even had a baby. She treated that dog like he was a baby,” Locklair said.
Locklair said family members are holding out hope but are fearful. He hopes by speaking out that it may spark someone to call police with information about her whereabouts or what happened.
A statement from Carmel, Indiana Police said: “Mr. Breland has not been criminally charged in relation to this case, but he has been arrested on an unrelated warrant out of Coweta County, GA.”
We have taken steps in recent days to try to get someone to speak on Xavier Breland Jr.’s behalf, but so far no one has commented.
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