Two people from Temple, Texas — Michael Swearingin, 32, and Jenna Scott, 28 — are missing and a car they were in was found abandoned in Austin, Texas. No one has heard from them since very early Friday morning, and their friends and family are hoping anyone with information will come forward. (NOTE: Heavy has updated this story with new details. See the updated article here.)
1. Their Gray Hyundai Genesis Was Found in Austin with the Doors Unlocked
But the car was found in Austin and the two were nowhere to be seen. The car was found on East 12th Street and Poquito Street, KXAN reported. The map above shows roughly where the car was found. Michael’s phone was found a block away, KCENTV noted.
The car was found by friends using tracking services. Jenna’s brother Talon said on Facebook that the car was seen with the doors unlocked and in a neighborhood they would not have gone to. Richie Davis, one of Michael’s friends, said on Facebook that the car had been parked with the doors unlocked for more than 24 hours before they found it. Davis said the phone stopped tracking around the corner from where the car was found.
2. Family & Friends Believe Their Disappearance May Have Involved Foul Play
Jenna and Michael are from Temple, Texas. They were last heard from around 3 a.m. on Friday, January 4 under suspicious circumstances. Michael was last seen at 4:10 p.m. on Thursday, January 3 and Jenna was last seen that same day at 4:38 p.m., TDTNews reported.
Although the car was found in Austin, his friends and family are also seeking clues in Temple. On January 7, Michael’s friend Richie Davis wrote on Facebook that security footage was deleted at Michael’s home, which has left Michael’s friends suspicious. Davis confirmed this with TDTNews. “We suspect foul play inside of (Swearingin’s) house based on the security updates,” he said. “However, all footage was completely deleted from his home computer around 8:30 p.m. and the camera was shut off.”
Davis wrote on Facebook that messages were sent from Michael’s phone around 3 a.m. Friday that “were not him but were trying to pretend to be him.” Law enforcement has not commented on this.
Jenna’s younger brother, Talon Scott, said the family believes foul play may have been involved in their disappearance, KXAN reported. On his Facebook page, Talon shared, “I personally believe this is a kidnapping/hostage or worse situation. If you see this status I at least ask you to share it and if so inclined, call the Texas Rangers and let them know that loved members of the community are missing. Any help given is greatly appreciated by myself and the family and friends of these beautiful souls.”
The family hired two private investigators and is working closely with Austin and Temple police. Talon said his sister does not have an active Facebook account.
Michael’s mother, Deborah Daniel-Harrison, clarified on a public Facebook post that Michael and Jenna were friends and they were not dating.
WFAA reported that Jenna had filed a protective order in July 2018 against a man she had met on Tinder and dated. The protective order, which you can read here, alleged that her ex-boyfriend was violent and had broken into her home. According to KDH News, the man was not named as a suspect by Temple police, but was in custody late Tuesday on a burglary charge. He was previously arrested in August 2018 for violating Jenna’s protective order and posted $10,000 bond. A different agency arrested him for burglary of a habitation with intent to commit other felony this week, KDH reported. The arrest was connected to a burglary of Scott’s home in late August. The arrest warrant was issued November 9, 2018 by Bell County Justice of the Peace, and the man was arrested in Grand Rapids, Michigan, KXAN reported. Temple Police said that the Bell County District Attorney will need to file an application for extradition if they want to bring him back to Texas. Jenna was denied a request for a new protective order in September.
If you have any clues from either Temple or Austin, please call the police.
3. Jenna Had Been Making Plans for Her Daughter’s 10th Birthday Party When She Disappeared
Jenna had been planning a birthday party for her daughter, who turns 10 on Tuesday, Jenna’s brother Talon told KXAN. She wouldn’t just disappear right before her child’s birthday.
Their disappearance is completely out of character for both of them. Jenna’s father, Jonathan, told CBS Austin that the two are very responsible. “They would have let somebody know if they were doing something,” he said. Jonathan said he’s coming to Austin to pass out fliers and try to find them.
Jenna’s friend, Kim Martin, told KXAN that Jenna used to visit Austin frequently. “Her disappearance is really out of character,” she said.
Swearingin has had heart problems in the past, so there are also concerns about his health, his mother told CBS Austin.
4. A GoFundMe Has Been Established to Help with the Search
A GoFundMe has been set up to help with the search. So far, $4,285 has been raised since the fund was started on January 6. Donations will be applied to private investigator fees and to the search efforts.
According to Michael’s LinkedIn, he works for Spectrum Enterprise as a market manager in Central Texas. Prior to that, he was based out of Austin, Texas for his employment and graduated from Austin Community College after attending Temple College. At one point Jenna was working on a master’s degree.
5. Jenna Is 5’5″ with a Maple Leaf Tattoo on Her Neck, & Michael Is 6-Feet, 220 Pounds
Jenna’s friend Kaylie Zachary said on Facebook that Michael is about 6-feet-tall and 220 pounds, and Jenna is 5’5″, 120 pounds, and has a red maple leaf tattoo on the back of her neck.
Michael’s public social media posts were mostly about faith and video games. One of his last public Facebook posts was made May 31, 2018 when he quoted 1 Corinthians 13:13 and wrote, in part: “Love is not a noun. To love is to do, to feel, to become. Love is not passive, nor still…” One of his last Instagram posts was from a church service he attended in mid-December.
Michael and Jenna’s friends and family are doing everything they can to find them and searching every possible clue. If you have any information, please call the Temple police at 254-298-5500.