UPDATE: On Friday afternoon, 19-year-old Michaelle Van Kleef was found safe, according to the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office.
MT. JULIET, Tenn. (WKRN) — A family is leaning on faith that their teenage daughter will return home, as officials in Wilson County continue searching for 19-year-old Michaelle Van Kleef.
Special agents and intelligence analysts with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation are working with the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office on the endangered child alert. Michaelle was last seen on Sunday, Oct. 30 in the Benders Ferry Road area.
Search efforts scaled back tremendously from Wednesday, Nov. 2, as New 2’s crew saw only a few officials with the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office walking the area, as well as a small non-profit evaluating the area for an upcoming organized community search effort.
Michaelle’s parents are confident she was abducted.
“Pray,” her mom Amanda whispered quietly.
It’s what the Van Kleefs know best.
“We can let it destroy us and we can let it drown us or we can let it fuel a stronger faith.”
Thursday, Nov. 3 was Day 4 in the search efforts for their daughter, another reminder they can sink or swim.
“We are on the ground multiple times a day just trying to grasp for our next breath,” Amanda explained.
Michaelle was a house guest over the last three weeks at a home on Benders Ferry Road, taking a K-9 training facility course. She was planning to fly home Thursday. On Sunday night, she told her parents she was going to take a walk, a claim that cameras on the property didn’t capture according to the homeowner. Michaelle hasn’t been heard from since.
“We have lived in the jungles of Papua New Guinea and we have some crazy thing happen. We are not easily frightened, and I will tell you that’s because my God was equipping me for today,” Amanda explained.
The mother of four is still clinging onto Michaelle’s shirt, saying her daughter had clothes laid out for the week, labeled up to Thursday when she was supposed to return home to Boston.
“That’s the hardest struggle is to not hate the person who is separating my family and hurting my daughter,” she said.
On Thursday night, the mother vowed Michaelle will return, saying, “Watch out world, because when Michaelle gets back if you thought she was a service fighter in the beginning she’s going to set this world on fire when she gets back.”
First, it’s making sure Michaelle gets back, so Amanda shared a message with her daughter.
“Baby keep your eyes on the lord, don’t let the waves overtake you. It’s the spirit that has us connected still and keep praying and we love you,” Amanda said as she teared up.
The Van Kleefs are planning to return to Boston on Friday, Nov. 4 to tend to their three other children.
There is a $25,000 reward for information that leads to finding Michaelle.