Before Vanishing, Ciera Breland Said Husband Would Be Responsible ‘If Anything Happens to Me,’ Cousin Says

One of many things that make no sense in the disappearance of Ciera Breland is her husband’s statement to Indiana police that he last saw her on Feb. 25, when she left their home on foot at 10 p.m. wearing shorts and a tank top.

It was the dead of winter and temperatures were in the 20s, according to AccuWeather records. She left behind her wallet, her car keys, her cell phones and her identification, police said.

She also left behind her 5-month-old son, to whom she was devoted, her family said.

But Xavier Breland Jr., 37, did not report his 31-year-old wife missing until a day later, police said. She was also a well-respected lawyer in the area.

Ciera Breland has not been seen in more than a month. Her family is devastated, saying she had planned to leave her husband, whom they said was physically and emotionally abusive. Breland threatened several times to kill her, and had regularly attacked her, Ciera’s cousin, Shelby Campbell, told Digital.

“He had shoved her into things. He would throw things at her when she was pregnant and when she was holding the baby. He hit her in the face with a gun. He bashed her head into a window while they were driving. He threatened to kill her and screamed at her,” Campbell said.

Breland is the sole person of interest in his wife’s disappearance, police have said. No one has been charged in Ciera’s disappearance.

He is currently being held without bail in Coweta County, Georgia, on charges of aggravated stalking, violating a protection order, and sending harassing communication to his his ex-wife, according to court records. He has two children, ages 6 and 10, with the Georgia woman.

Xavier Breland Jr.’s Alleged History of Violence Extends to His Ex-Wife, Authorities Say

Breland was arrested in Indiana after reporting Ciera missing, and extradited to Georgia based on an arrest warrant issued Feb. 24, when Breland failed to appear for an arraignment in the stalking case, according to online records. He had previously pleaded not guilty to those charges.

One of the allegations involving his ex-wife is that he placed a tracking device inside a stuffed animal he gave to the couple’s daughter, and made harassing phone calls to the woman despite a court order banning him from communicating with her, authorities said.

His court-appointed defense attorney has not responded to several requests for comment from Digital.

The FBI has offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to Ciera’s whereabouts. Police in Carmel, Indiana, where the couple lived, are working with police in Johns Creek, Georgia, where the couple had visited their families before Ciera disappeared.

“Breland’s husband reported her missing on February 26th to the Carmel Police Department in Indiana. However, there is no evidence that Breland ever returned home after the family’s trip to Georgia,” the FBI said in its reward announcement. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is also assisting in the case.

Campbell said her family now believes that Ciera never made it out of Georgia. The last confirmed sighting of her was Feb. 24, in surveillance video showing her standing outside her mother-in-law’s suburban Atlanta home, authorities said.

“We all told her to leave him,” Campbell said. “We didn’t like what we were seeing. She’s very smart. She never put up with anything from anyone. We all told her she had a safe place to go.”

Ciera Breland Suffered at Her Husband’s Hands Before She Vanished, Her Family Says

Ciera’s parents and Campbell said Ciera had planned to leave her husband of about one year during the couple’s trip to Georgia. She had been secretly saving money, Campbell said, and was going to move in with her family. She had not told Xavier, Campbell said.

“She had no intentions of going back to Indiana,” Campbell said.

The couple had moved about a year ago to Indiana, where Xavier’s father lived, Campbell said. Ciera had legally assisted Xavier in his dispute with his ex-wife, according to online court records. The legal battle became heated in Georgia, and the newly married Xavier and Ciera decided to head north to get away from the turmoil and turn over a new leaf, Campbell said.

Ciera got a job in an Indiana law firm. And Campbell, who said she and her cousin were best friends, began getting texts that disturbed her.

In August, Campbell said Ciera texted her, saying her husband “is nuts. If anything happens to me then he is responsible.” Ciera also had a burner phone, besides her personal cell and her work cellphone, which she kept in case she needed to call for help, Campbell said. “I’m really scared and idk what to do,” Ciera texted to her cousin, using an abbreviation for “I don’t know,” Campbell said.

Campbell said she has turned her cellphone, which contained Ciera’s texts and videos she sent to document her husband’s alleged abuse, over to investigators. “The police are keeping a lot to themselves. He has threatened to kill her multiple times and throw her in a lake somewhere. We don’t have any information about where she may be.”

Authorities have said they will release additional information as it becomes available, and there have been no updates issued in recent weeks.

Ciera’s fateful trip to Georgia began when she and Xavier loaded their baby and their big dog into Ciera’s 2017 white Volkswagen Tiguan and made the 11-hour drive south. Ciera arrived at her parent’s house on Feb. 19, according to her family. She stayed the night, visiting with relatives who hadn’t seen her since she moved to Indiana.

“She had told all of us she was moving back to Georgia, her cousin said.

Ciera’s mother, Kelly Locklair, said her daughter was planning to come home and find a new job. “She said, ‘Mom, I’m coming. You know, we’re gonna say we’re gonna visit with you guys and his mom. But I’m never going back to Indiana,’” the mom told NBC’s “Dateline” last month.

She had also told her parents that her husband’s abusive behavior was getting worse, and she was getting a divorce.

“We were having about a month, maybe two months of discussions amongst the two of us that she was coming home, permanently. She was leaving him. She was getting a divorce,” Kelly Locklair told a local station last week.

But the parents never heard from Ciera again after she left their home on Feb. 20, saying she was going to her mother-in-law’s to pick up Jaxson, her son, and would be back, the family said.

Campbell said one of the last texts she received from her cousin said, “I’m at Xavier’s mom’s house, he won’t give me Jaxson so I’m waiting to get him so I can leave,” Campbell said.

The next information about Ciera came six days after she left her parents’ home. On Feb. 26, the Carmel police in Indiana phoned to say she had been reported missing by her husband. Campbell said the family was shocked. They thought Ciera was still in Georgia, though she hadn’t answered their texts in recent days, which was very unusual for her, Campbell said.

“What’s completely baffling,” Campbell said, “is that he didn’t call anyone to check on her … He didn’t reach out to anyone. He didn’t make us aware at all.”

Ciera’s father, Nick Locklair, told WSB-TV in Atlanta last week that after speaking with Carmel police, he called his daughter’s cellphone and her husband answered.

“I said, ‘Xavier, tell me the truth. What’s going on? Ciera told me if anything happened to her, that you were responsible for it, so just tell me the truth.’ And he told me to go to hell and hung up.”

From the Beginning, Xavier Breland’s Actions Concerned Ciera’s Family

Campbell said her cousin met Xavier Breland on Tinder.

“It was extremely quick. They met in October 2020 and they were married six months later. And she already knew she was pregnant,” her cousin said.

Trouble began quickly as well, Campbell said. Xavier became increasingly aggressive and jealous, the cousin said. Ciera was alarmed, and tried to end the relationship, but later said she loved him and wanted to hold her new family together.

“He would always come back, saying ‘I’m so sorry. I promise I will be better. It’s just that I love you so much. I can’t live without you. Please give me another chance,'” Campbell said.

After Xavier was arrested on the stalking charge and extradited to Georgia, he participated in a video court hearing two weeks ago before a Fulton County judge in an ongoing civil custody dispute involving the children he had with his ex-wife.

The mother was seeking to terminate all contact between Xavier and the two children, including virtual video visits, saying the father was a danger to his children. Judge Alex Manning viewed in court a video of a previous visit between Xavier and the children, in which he tells the boy and girl that their stepmother has been kidnapped and won’t return. The children became visibly upset, the judge said.

“What I saw in that video was heartbreaking, it’s heartbreaking,” said Judge Manning. “This little girl falls apart in two minutes (into) uncontrollably sobbing.

“It goes from she’s missing to she’s kidnapped,” the judge said, explaining what she heard Breland say to his children. The video was not played for the full court.

“This conversation seems to escalate to now, ‘Nope she’s been kidnapped, do you know what that means, she’s never coming back,’ and I don’t know how you know that, but you seem to know she’s never coming back and it’s just traumatizing these children over and over and over again,” Manning said to Breland, CBS46 reported.

The father’s attorney issued a statement to CBS46, which misspelled the missing woman’s first name: “The spouse is always the first person the police look at in a disappearance but in this case Mr. Breland had nothing to do with Cierra’s disappearance. Mr. Breland is devastated by her disappearance which he reported to the police, and if he wasn’t incarcerated on an unrelated matter he would be helping to look for Cierra.”

Manning granted the mother’s request to end contact between the children and their father, according to local reports.

Fearing the Worst, Ciera Breland’s Family Focuses on Getting Justice

Campbell said she has no hope that her cousin will ever come home. Campbell has pushed away her feelings of grief until she knows exactly what happened to the woman whose void grows bigger by the day.

“I talked to her all the time. We were extremely close. I can’t imagine her coming back. Knowing her, and how she is with her son, she wouldn’t stay away an hour, let alone a month.”

But allowing her thoughts to go beyond that is just not something Campbell can do right now.

“It’s just not something that’s really sunk in. It’s just such a disconnect. I’m just waiting for her to call me so I can say, ‘Oh, my God, you would not believe what is going on here,'” she said.

Then reality intrudes.

“We don’t have any answers and there’s nothing we can do about it,” Campbell said. “It’s so frustrating not to have any options.”

Anyone with information surrounding the case is asked to call Corporal Rozier with the Johns Creek Police Department at 678-372-8046, the Carmel Police Department at (317) 571-2580, Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 317-262-TIPS (8477), the Georgia Bureau of Investigation tip line at 1-800-597-TIPS(8477) or the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324).

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