JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – A man whose wife was reported missing earlier this year has been acquitted in an unrelated stalking case.
Jurors returned a not guilty verdict against Xavier Breland, who’d been accused of putting a GPS tracker inside a stuffed animal belonging to his daughter in order to track the girl’s mother and her family.
The case stemmed from a custody battle involving Breland and his ex-wife.
Breland was exonerated in the case, however, when it went to trial last week. His attorney told Georgia’s WSB-TV that the jury returned the verdict “quickly” on Thursday, Aug. 11.
The attorney, Bryan Howard, said he hoped to get some legal matters “cleared up” for Breland so he can be released from jail.
Breland is still considered a person of interest in the disappearance of Ciera Breland, who was last seen on Feb. 24 while visiting family in Georgia with her husband, their then-five-month-old son and the family’s Labradoodle.
Xavier Breland contacted the Carmel Police Department to report her missing on Feb. 26, telling investigators she’d walked out of their home once they came back to Indiana. Police, however, have said there’s no evidence she ever returned from the family trip.
A surveillance camera captured footage of her in Johns Creek, Georgia, on Feb. 24.
Text messages uncovered earlier this year showed Ciera Breland was scared of her husband. One family member said she feared he was going to hurt her.
Police in Johns Creek have conducted multiple searches of the Chattahoochee River and surrounding areas. The search effort has included drones and helicopters, police said. No sign of Ciera Breland has been found.
Breland’s parents told WSB-TV they didn’t believe they’d see their daughter again. A reward is being offered for information leading to Breland’s whereabouts.
Xavier Breland hasn’t been charged in connection with the case.
Anyone with information should contact the Carmel Police Department at (317) 571-2500 or the Johns Creek Police tip line at (678) 474-1610. Information can also be called in to the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI or at tips.fbi.gov.