National News

Mom of veteran found buried speaks out

Posted September 11

— Since her son's remains were discovered, Chase Massner's mother sat down with CBS46 for her first television interview.

Massner is the 26-year-old husband, father and Iraq war veteran who went missing in 2014. Stephanie Cadena talked to CBS46 reporter Daniel Wilkerson about her agonizing ordeal.

Cadena says there's no way to prepare for this.

"Would you have ever thought in your wildest dreams that Chase's body would just be miles from you?" asked Wilkerson.

"No. Never," answered Cadena. "I always tried to think of where he was, or what happened, but I never thought he would be in Brad's backyard."

Cadena is referring to Brad Clement, the 31-year-old now charged with concealing her son's death. Clement has not been charged with murder, but police believe he buried Massner's body in the backyard of a home he once owned in Kennesaw.

The call came on Aug. 1.

"I was on my way to the airport, so I actually got the news over the phone," says Cadena.

A medical examiner confirmed though dental records the remains were indeed Massner's.

"When you got that call, what was it like?" asked Wilkerson. "You had three weeks to ponder over it. Did you know?"

"I knew," says Cadena. "It was just a formality."

Clement at this point had been arrested after he had agreed to turn himself in, but then decided to run. Just months earlier, Cadena met Clement for the fist time.

She was hesitant.

"But you agreed to it? Wilkerson asked.

"I did, with your help and Nancy Grace," she answered.

"Knowing what you know now, what comes to mind?" Wilkerson asked.

"He sat and told me a long and elaborate story about what they did that night, stayed up all night, talked, very sincere, gave me a hug," she answered.

Cadena says the fight is not over as she still wants justice for her son. To pass the days, there are reminders throughout her home, including Massner's hand print.

"From 1997...so he would have been 10," says Cadena.

"Now it's time to give Chase a proper funeral that he deserves, and begin to move forward in life, and remember the 26 that we had with Chase," she said.

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