A 26-year-old Ohio Army National Guard specialist has been missing for a month and her worried family has hired a private investigator to help find her.
Michaela Nelson, from Xenia, Ohio, was reported missing by the National Guard on October 26.
She had finished her Advanced Individual Training (AIT) at Fort Jackson, in South Carolina, on October 2 and failed to return to her unit in Dayton, Ohio.
Nelson last spoke to her family the day she vanished. According to Fox News, she exchanged text messages with her grandmother.
Her father, Lance Nelson, filed a missing person report with the Columbus Police Department and has since also hired Private Detective James Terry, who suggested that Nelson disappeared after deciding to go AWOL following the death of her mother.
Terry said the Nelson family believes Michaela is alive and revealed that 'she's using some sort of phone'.
'She just doesn't have her number on,' the detective added, noting that the phone is off but her FaceTime still rings.
Specialist in the Ohio Army National Guard Michaela Nelson (left and right), 26, from Xenia, Ohio, was reported missing on October 26 - one month after her mother passed away from breast cancer. Her family still believes she is alive and Private Detective James Terry said 'she's using some sort of phone'
Nelson (center) is the oldest of five siblings. She graduated from Cedarville University in 2017 with a Bachelor's in Exercise Science and was pictured on graduation day with her brother Caden (far left), late mother Jacquelyn (second from left), father Lance (second from right) and sister Ariana (far right)
Her cousin Elise Miller said she hadn't talked to Nelson since early last month at Nelson's mother's funeral.
Jacquelyn Jean Miller Nelson passed away from breast cancer on September 16, aged 59. She was survived by her husband and their five children, of which Michaela is the oldest.
Lance Nelson told Dayton 24/7 that his daughter had been dealing with a lot of grief leading up to her disappearance.
'You go through a divorce there’s a lot of grief, that was a year ago. Losing her mother a few months ago to breast cancer and then getting evicted from an apartment,' he said.
He last saw his daughter at his wife's funeral and recalled speaking to her through text on October 24.
Nelson was last seen between October 6 and 15 while driving her charcoal gray 2016 Dodge Charger SXT (pictured) with the license plate number JLL4284. License plate readers in Columbus, Ohio, showed that she was driving near an apartment where she had lived