Woman reported missing from Carmel described as ‘devoted mother,’ ‘very charismatic’ as search continues


According to information released by the Carmel Police Dept., Ciera Breland, 31, a mother and attorney, was reportedly last seen late Feb. 25 walking through her northwest Carmel neighborhood in a black top and purple shorts. The temperatures hovered in the 20s that night.

But to Shelby Campbell, Ciera’s cousin and best friend, it seems like an unlikely scenario.

“That is completely uncharacteristic of her to go radio silent or to disappear,” Campbell said. “There’s no chance she would’ve left without her child. She never would’ve walked off without her phone or her wallet or her card or her baby. She wouldn’t do that. She’s a very devoted mother. She worked from home so that she could be home with (her infant son) at any time. She just never would’ve done this.”

On Feb. 27 the Carmel Police Dept. requested the public’s assistance in locating Ciera, whom they said was last seen between 10 and 11 p.m. Feb. 25 walking near Ditch Road and 146th Street. She is described as 5 feet tall and 120 pounds with blond hair. A CPD spokesman said Xavier Breland, Ciera’s husband, reported her missing and provided details about her last known whereabouts.

On March 4 CPD named Ciera’s 37-year-old husband as a person of interest in the case. He was arrested on March 1 on a warrant out of Coweta County, Ga., in an unrelated matter. He has not been charged in connection to Ciera’s disappearance.

Campbell, who lives in Georgia, said Ciera and Xavier had been married less than a year at the time of her disappearance and described their relationship as “rocky.”

“She was planning on leaving him,” Campbell said. “It was just very back and forth. She had left him a couple of times before that, but she kept going back.”

Stephanie Locklair, who was married to Ciera’s brother for 15 years, also said Ciera and Xavier had a troubled marriage. She said the couple had recently been visiting family in Ciera’s home state of Georgia and that Ciera had spent the night of Feb. 19 at her father’s home. During that visit, Ciera indicated she was going to leave her husband, Locklair said, and when she left her father’s home the next day was the last time anyone in her family saw her.

Campbell said she last spoke to Ciera by phone on Feb. 21, and the final communication she received from her was a text message sent Feb. 22. She said she and Ciera typically communicated every day until that point.

Locklair, a South Carolina resident, and Campbell said Ciera’s family learned she was missing from Carmel police, which Locklair found to be a huge red flag regarding Xavier’s potential involvement.

“(Xavier) never even notified the family or asked the family if she was with them,” Locklair said. “If you have a spouse that goes missing, the first thing you’re going to do is call her family and say, ‘Hey, have you seen Ciera?’ That’s what any normal person would do. He told them nothing.”

Campbell described Ciera as a “devoted family member” who would do anything for those she loved. She also said she is as “smart as a whip.”
“Ciera is very charismatic. She’s also very smart, quick-witted,” she said. “She’s a spitfire, a big personality in a really tiny package.”

Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact the Carmel Police Dept. at 317-571-2500 or Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 317-262-8477. The FBI and Georgia Bureau of Investigation are assisting CPD with the case.