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31-year-old Ciera Breland vanished in Johns Creek, Georgia on February 24, 2022

Ciera was last seen leaving her mother-in-law’s house. Her husband is considered a person of interest in her disappearance.

31-year-old Ciera Breland has always been a fighter. Her mother, Kelly Locklair, told Dateline that when Ciera was younger she dealt with some health issues. “She overcame and pushed through,” Kelly said. “She was happy. She was energetic. She was loving. She was extremely driven in her career.”

Ciera knew she would become a lawyer. “She just decided she was gonna be a lawyer and there was just -- that was gonna be the end of it,” Kelly told Dateline. “She worked really hard.”

Ciera grew up in Georgia and dreamed of living in Atlanta one day. “She was a Georgia girl,” Kelly said. “Atlanta was her plan all along.” To get there, though, Ciera had to leave The Peach State. She went to the University of Tennessee for college and then attended law school at Florida State University. Just as she had predicted, Ciera became a lawyer, specializing in insurance defense.

Ciera Breland
Ciera BrelandNick Locklair

Through it all, Ciera was still extremely focused on her family. “I mean, her father would talk to her sometimes, 5-6 hours a day,” Kelly said, adding that they’d mostly talk about their days and what was going on in their lives.

“Very outgoing. Likes sports, likes movies,” Ciera’s father, Nick Locklair, told Dateline. “And she was really fun, until about a year ago.”

While still in Georgia, Ciera met Xavier Breland Jr. She represented him on some issues he had been facing. The two married in 2020.

It was about a year ago when the couple moved to Carmel, Indiana where Xavier’s father lives. Ciera got a new job and at the end of last year, gave birth to the couple’s son who is now 5 months old.

Ciera’s parents, Nick and Kelly, told Dateline their daughter wasn’t happy in Indiana and wanted to move back home to Georgia. Kelly told Dateline that Ciera planned on moving back in with them and finding a new job. “She said, ‘Mom, I'm coming,’” Kelly said. “’You know, we're gonna say we're gonna visit with you guys and his mom. But I'm never going back to Indiana.’”

So Ciera, Xavier, the baby, and their full-sized white Goldendoodle, Baker, all packed into a 2017 White Volkswagen Tiguan with Georgia license plates and started the long drive from Indiana to Georgia first to visit with Ciera’s parents and then with Xavier’s mother.

They made it to Nick and Kelly’s house in Cleveland, Georgia, on February 19. “She came Saturday night and stayed till Sunday,” Nick told Dateline. The next stop would be about an hour away at Xavier’s mother’s house in Johns Creek, Georgia. Nick said Ciera texted him on Monday, February 21. “She sent me a message at 11:17 at night saying, ‘I'll be back in the morning if that's OK,’” Nick said. “And I said, ‘Of course it's OK, you don't have to ask.’”

Ciera Breland with her aunt Jeannie
Ciera Breland with her aunt JeannieNick Locklair

The next day, when he hadn’t heard from Ciera, Nick said he reached back out to her and she said everything was OK, but that she had been feeling a little sick.

Nick said he reached out again on Wednesday asking Ciera how she was feeling. He didn’t get a response.

He said he texted again on Thursday, February 24. Again, no response.

By Friday, the Locklairs were concerned, as they said it was unusual for Ciera to not reply to them like that.

Then, on Saturday evening, February 26, Nick got a call from an unknown Indiana number. “I didn't automatically panic, because I thought they were still in Georgia,” Nick told Dateline. “So I answered it and they said it was the police. And that's when they told me she was missing.”

The Locklairs said they were confused by that, as they had assumed their daughter was still in Georgia. Nick told Dateline once he learned his daughter had been reported missing, he called Xavier to get answers and got nowhere. He said he then called Xavier’s father who lives right next door to Ciera and Xavier in Carmel. “He said, ‘No. I never saw her,’” Nick said was the father’s response.

Dateline spoke to Communications Lieutenant Deb Kalish of the City of Johns Creek Police Department about Ciera’s last known movements in Georgia. “As far as being here in Georgia, we saw her on the 24th February at 19:17 hours,” Lt. Kalish said. “And that was at the mother-in-law's house.” Lieutenant Kalish told Dateline authorities confirmed Ciera was seen on video at that time, although the video has not been released to the public. She added that nothing unusual seemed to be going on in the video.

According to a press release on March 2 from the Carmel Police Department in Indiana, Ciera Breland was reported as a missing person to their office on Saturday, February 26, 2022, and that “Carmel Police Detectives immediately began an investigation into the whereabouts of Mrs. Breland.”

Authorities in both states have reason for concern. “The biggest thing is: she's a 31-year-old woman with a 5-month-old baby. It's not normal for her, according to her family.” Lt. Kalish told Dateline. “They talked to her all the time and/or daily and they're extremely concerned, as are we. We're taking it very seriously.”

Kelly told Dateline that Ciera would never have abandoned her son. “There is no one since the baby has been born – no one has ever kept that baby for her, like, not even for an hour,” Kelly said. “She was the sole mother, caregiver, everything to that child.” It’s unfathomable to the family that Ciera would just walk away. “For them to say, she just said, ‘Hey, to heck with it – walking out the door without my child, my car, my phone, my money, nothing and I'm just gonna hit the road,’ is absurd.”

Lieutenant Kalish told Dateline The City of Johns Creek Police Department is “following every single lead that comes in – interviewing everybody they possibly can – on both sides, from us all the way up to Carmel.”

In the March 2 press release, the Carmel Police Department stated that they had begun working with the City of Johns Creek Police Department and “Through the combined efforts of both agencies, the missing person's husband, 37-year-old Xavier Breland Jr., has been identified as a person of interest in this case.” It noted that Xavier Breland “has not been criminally charged in relation to this case, but has been arrested on an unrelated warrant” out of Georgia.

Xavier Breland is being held at the Hamilton County Jail in Indiana pending extradition to Georgia. Dateline reached out to the Public Information Officer there and was told Xavier does not have a criminal attorney at this time. Carmel Police Department Lieutenant Tim Byrne said that Ciera’s case is an active investigation and referred Dateline back to their press release which stated that more information would be released when available.

On March 4, the Carmel Police Department issued an update noting that both the FBI and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) were now assisting in Ciera’s case.

Back in Georgia, Kelly and Nick told Dateline that they’ve been overwhelmed with everything, but they feel it’s important to get their daughter’s story out there. “After a matter of time, I just said, ‘Kelly, we need to go ahead and talk to people,” Nick said. “'We need to get this, you know, nationwide.’”

Nick Locklair

The Locklairs told Dateline that this past Friday, March 11, some of their family and friends went out searching in Johns Creek. “They went out and passed out flyers and looked around,” Nick said. “I think there were seven or eight officers with -- walked with them,” Kelly added. “And, I mean, it was a big turnout and people were really receptive to them.” Nick also told Dateline that from that search, he believes authorities got several new leads.

The family told Dateline that both Ciera’s son and dog are safe, healthy, and being taken care of. Now, Ciera’s family just wants her home. Her cousin, Amber, sent an email to Dateline saying, “We all love Ciera and we want to find her… She means the world to her family and her precious newborn.”

Ciera is 5 feet tall, weighs 120 lbs, and has blonde hair. She has three little trees tattooed on her ring finger, a Florida State arrow tattooed on her left wrist, and a sunburst tattooed on her back left rib cage.

If you have information on Ciera’s whereabouts, please contact the Carmel Police Department at 317-571-2500 or Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 317-262-8477 (TIPS). You can also contact the City of Johns Creek Police Department tipline at 678-474-1610.