Jordan Middlebrooks, an Army National Guardsman, went missing in Cincinnati, Ohio on Friday, November 23. Multiple witnesses reported seeing him since he disappeared, authorities said. Friends said that his car broke down at Taco Bell on Thanksgiving and he may have been walking back to retrieve it when he was last seen on video surveillance. Nearly seven days later, he was found safe in Georgia. Here’s what you need to know about Middlebrooks and what happened.
1. Jordan Middlebrooks Was Seen Walking South on Hamilton at 11 AM on Friday, November 23 & He Was Found Safe Nearly Seven Days Later in Georgia
Jordan Middlebrooks, 21, was reported missing after last being seen on Friday, November 23 in the College Hill/Northside area of Cincinnati, walking south on Hamilton around 11 a.m., Local 12 reported.
His friends told Cincinnati.com that he spent part of Thanksgiving at a Taco Bell in Covington, and then went to Mixwell’s on Spring Grove Avenue in Northside later on Thanksgiving night. After the bar closed, he went to a friend’s house on Hamilton to sleep.
He stayed there Thanksgiving night, and security footage showed him leaving around 10:47 a.m. on foot, ABC News reported.
Update: On November 29, 2018, Cincinnati Police reported that Middlebrooks had been found safe in Clayton County, Georgia.
2. His Car & Cell Phone Were Found at Taco Bell in Covington, After His Car Had Died There on Thanksgiving
Middlebrooks’ car was later found on Sunday, November 25 at the Taco Bell on W. Fourth Street in Covington, Local 12 reported. His cell phone was also found in his car. According to Texas Equusearch, Middlebrooks left his car at Taco Bell on Thanksgiving, and he may have been walking back to his car on Friday when he disappeared. A post he made online indicated that his car had died in the Taco Bell parking lot because he accidentally left the lights on, and he couldn’t afford to get someone to jump it.
Middlebrooks is 5’9″ and weighs 120 pounds. He was last seen dressed in black and wearing glasses, WCPO reported.
3. Some Witnesses Said They Saw Him in College Hill, Northside, & Clifton, & Authorities Thought He Might Not Have Wanted To Be Found
Authorities said that Middlebrooks was spotted in College Hill, Northside, and Clifton since disappearing (before he was later found), Local 12 reported. They believed that he may not have wanted to be found. Dave Rader of Texas Equusearch told Local 12: “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.”
It’s not clear what the sightings entailed, who saw him, or why authorities thought he didn’t want to be found. Facebook posts from friends noted that someone may have seen him at a cafe in Clifton, along with multiple other places. Another Facebook poster shared that Facebook’s “Nearby Friends” feature indicated that Middlebrooks was in Covington on Sunday.
Authorities did not release details about the sightings or why they were viewed as credible.
Rader said that Middlebrooks’ mother, Brandy, met with him in Cincinnati on Tuesday and said she’s not mad or angry at Middlebrooks, she just wants to see him again. “They are just genuinely concerned about his well-being and make sure he’s OK,” Rader said.
4. Middlebrooks Is a Specialist in the Army National Guard & Friends Describe Him as Caring & Soft-Spoken
Friends told Cincinnati.com that Middlebrooks is a specialist in the Army National Guard. According to Middlebrooks’ Facebook page, he joined the Ohio Army National Guard two years ago and is currently a computer/detections systems repairer. The Ohio National Guard posted that he is an M-Day Soldier with the 212th Support Maintenance Company.
Friends describe him as “soft-spoken, sweet soul.” Naj Jabari, a friend of Middlebrook’s, told WCPO that they met about eight months earlier at Mixwell’s, where they would often spend Thursday nights dancing. She said he often came to Mixwell’s with his camera, and always made people feel cared for. Other friends commented on Facebook about what a kind and caring person Middlebrooks is. One friend wrote online, “Jordan does so much without being asked.” Everyone else agreed that he is a kind person, and they just want to see him again.
5. His Friends Asked for Help & Were Very Worried About Him
One of Middlebrooks’ friends, Matthew Risher, posted on Facebook on November 28 and noted that it has been tough to comb through the accuracy of all the information they are getting. “Right now, it is very hard to give any accurate updates around the search and investigation. One challenge that comes with widespread awareness is a sudden influx of information. Some of this information may have varying degrees of accuracy; some of it otherwise. This makes it challenging to keep efforts organized, but it’s still immeasurably better than having little to no information, as when the investigation first started.”
He asked anyone who wants to help to continue sharing information about Middlebrooks in order to spread awareness. If you think you have seen him, contact your local police and the Columbus, Ohio police. “Because Jordan lives in Columbus, that department is considered as running point on the operation. Reporting to the Cincinnati or Covington police, while especially helpful if you think you have spotted him, simply won’t move the information along as quickly as it would reporting it to the Columbus authorities as well.”
Middlebrooks was later found safe.