An anxious family has employed a private detective to assist in locating a 26-year-old Ohio Army National Guard officer who has been missing for a month.

The National Guard declared Michaela Nelson, 26, of Xenia, Ohio, missing on Oct. 26. Following her mother’s death in October, Michaela went AWOL.

On Oct. 2, she finished her Advanced Individual Training (AIT) at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, and did not return to her Dayton, Ohio unit.

Lance Nelson, her father, reported her missing to the Columbus Police Department and has since engaged Private Detective James Terry.

According to Terry, the Nelsons felt Michaela was still alive and that “she’s using some sort of phone.”

The father said that Michaela had been through a lot of grief in the months leading up to her going missing.

“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 recalled.

He last saw his daughter at his wife’s burial, and he recalls texting with her on Oct. 24.

“First and foremost, Spc. Nelson’s health and safety are our priority. Any discussion of discipline or administrative action is not a priority,” an Ohio Army National Guard spokesman said according to the Daily Mail.

Nelson enlisted in the National Guard in Sept. 2020.

She was last seen driving her charcoal gray 2016 Dodge Charger SXT between Oct. 6 and Oct. 15. A license plate reader detected her traveling near an apartment where she had previously resided in Columbus, Ohio.

But Nelson’s automobile has not been recovered since she was reported missing, and police investigated the area.

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