It’s been more than a month since a 21-year-old Georgia mom disappeared and her family is desperate for answers.
Jessica Vanzant Dietzel vanished in the middle of February from Leesburg, Georgia, leaving behind few clues to her current whereabouts.
“It is absolutely horrible,” Dietzel's mother Kristina Johnson told Oxygen.com of the disappearance.
Nobody has heard from her daughter since Feb. 18 when she seemingly “dropped off the map," Johnson said.
Dietzel didn’t have a phone at the time but regularly communicated through the Facebook Messenger app.
Her mother had talked with her through Messenger about a week before she disappeared and said her daughter, who struggled with addiction, had said she was doing better and had also been seeing a new guy.
Johnson said she continued to message her daughter in the days that followed, but became concerned when the messages were no longer getting opened and Dietzel’s brother and cousin also said that they had been unable to reach her.
Johnson reported her daughter missing to police on March 1. She said it’s extremely unlike her daughter to go this long without contacting anyone and said her daughter has never disappeared before.
“She’s just missing and something happened to her,” Johnson said. “At the end of the day, something happened and I don’t know what it is and I am just trying to find the answers or find her.”
There have been other troubling signs as well. Dietzel’s puppy was found on the side of the road — still in the kennel she had for the dog. The young mom’s friends had also reported that shortly before she vanished, she had been headed to visit a man living in a tent, Johnson said.
The Lee County Sheriff’s Office and Albany Police Department are working in conjunction on the case. While Dietzel lived in Lee County she was last seen in Albany near the Flint River.
“We’re still in the process of interviewing people,” Deputy Daniel Alday with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office told Dateline. “But we follow all tips that we get in hopes of getting some piece of information that leads us to Jessica.”
In the weeks after her daughter vanished, Johnson said she and her husband have gone out “day and night” searching for the missing 21-year-old, talking with her friends and visiting places she frequently went to but have found no sign of her.
Dietzel’s daughter, who just turned 3, is staying with Johnson.
“I grieve for her too,” Johnson said. “I just hope that we find her.”
Johnson described Dietzel as a generous spirit who is personable and loves her family.
“She’s always been very loving and giving of others,” she said. “Even when she was young, if she got a new birthday present, she’d give it to somebody.”
Dietzel has a “beautiful smile” and loves to make people laugh.
“She’s sunshine,” her mother said.
Johnson is still hopeful her daughter will be found safe—but as the days go by that no one has heard from her, she’s beginning to fear the worst and said it's like being in a horrible “limbo.”
“Realistically, with the all the different information that has come in, it’s not looking good, it’s absolutely not looking good as far as finding her alive, but we’ve got to find her and find answers,” she said.
She called the ordeal an “agonizing nightmare.”
Dietzel’s family is offering a reward for any information that leads to finding the 21-year-old.
Dietzel is described as being 5’7” and weighing 150 pounds. She has green eyes, long blonde hair and a tattoo on her upper left chest near her collar bone that says “Elena.”
Anyone with information about her whereabouts is urged to contact authorities.
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