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OH Nat’l Guard soldier found alive after missing for a month

Ohio National Guard soldiers at the 59th Presidential Inauguration near the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C., Jan. 20, 2021. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by 2d Lt Christi Richter)
December 01, 2021

An Ohio National Guard soldier who had been missing since late October was finally found, and reported in good health, at around noon on Tuesday.

Spc. Michaela Nelson went missing on Oct. 25, prompting her father, Lance Nelson to file a missing person report and setting off a widespread search effort. Lance Nelson told Fox News he began receiving text messages from his daughter’s number late on Tuesday morning and police eventually found her around noon ET Tuesday, in her gray 2016 Dodge Charger.

According to a police statement provided to Fox News, officers found Nelson in apparent good health but took her to the hospital for a physical and mental health evaluation.

After Nelson was found, Ohio National Guard spokeswoman Stephanie Beougher told Task & Purpose, “We are relieved to hear today Spc. Michaela Nelson had been found. She is a valued member of the Ohio National Guard, and her health and safety are a top priority.” 

According to Fox News, Nelson had struggled through a series of difficult experiences. In August, she posted a video to TikTok, addressing concerns she had failed out of officer candidate school (OCS). Nelson’s ex-husband had also reportedly remarried just four months after finalizing their divorce.

Before her disappearance, Nelson last spoke to with her relatives in a text message exchange with her grandmother, her cousin Elise Miller. Miller told Fox News she last spoke to Nelson in person a month prior at Nelson’s mother’s funeral.

Military authorities revealed Nelson had completed Advanced Individual Training (AIT) at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, on Oct. 2, but failed to return to her unit in Dayton.

James Terry, a private investigator hired by Nelson’s family told Fox 29 last week that the family believed she was still alive but in hiding and that while Nelson’s phone is off, her FaceTime still rings.

“She’s using a phone, some sort of phone,” Terry said. “She just doesn’t have her number on.”

Nelson’s family members told Fox News they believe she may have gone into hiding for the weeks that she went missing.

Her father told Fox News that when she started texting him again on Tuesday, “She said her phone died and her car was dead. She felt really bad about what she’d done, making us worry – she wanted to die and things like that.”