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Search For Missing Ohio National Guardsman Who Disappeared After Thanksgiving Is 'Like A Moving Target'
Jordan Middlebrooks vanished after a night out with friends, and now searchers wonder if he wants to be found.
Friends and family are searching for an Ohio Army National Guardsman who mysteriously disappeared Friday morning following a Thanksgiving outing the night before.
Jordan Middlebrooks, 21, on Thursday night went to the Cincinnati bar Mixwell's with a group of friends. He'd left his car at a Taco Bell parking lot earlier in the day, but after a night of holiday festivities he decided to spend the night at a friend's apartment, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Surveillance footage captured him leaving the apartment the next morning around 10:47 a.m. on foot. His car and his uncharged cell phone were later found still in the Taco Bell parking lot, but Middlebrooks was nowhere to be found.
His friends have wondered whether something happened to Middlebrooks, who hails from Columbus, as he walked to try to retrieve his car,
"The best we could maybe figure is he was trying to get back to his car from there and maybe gotten lost or something happened along the way," his friend Jacob Baker told local outlet WLWT.
Over the weekend family and friends scoured the Cincinnati area looking for any clues about the whereabouts of the National Guardsman, who has been described by his friends as soft-spoken and sweet.
Volunteer search and rescue team Texas EquuSearch has also joined in the search efforts, but as it continues, those involved are wondering whether or not Middlebrooks may not want to be found.
There are reports that Middlebrooks has been spotted in the areas of College Hill, Northside and Clifton since he disappeared from morning.
"It's almost like a moving target," Dave Rader of Texas Equusearch told WKRC. "With the other cases, we mostly are looking for a body. In this case, we're not looking for a body, we are looking for an individual that may not want to be found."
Friends and family, including Middlebrooks' mother who has come to the area to help with the search, just hope the 21-year-old is safe.
"She's worried sick about him and wants him to come home and just make sure he's OK and everything is fine. She's not mad; nobody is upset with him. They are just genuinely concerned about his well-being and make sure he's OK," Rader said.
Naj Jabari, a friend of Middlebrooks, told WCPO everyone is just hoping for the best.
"My hope is that we find him safe and sound, no matter where he is…I know everyone's just wanting to give him a big ol' hug," Jabari said.
[Photo Credit: Texas EquuSearch Ohio/Midwest Chapter]