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Family Of Missing Servicewoman Prays For Safe Return

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HENDERSON, N.C. — The parents of Jill Metzger are talking for the first time since their daughter disappeared while serving in the Middle East. The 33-year-old Air Force major and Northern Vance High School graduate was reported missing Monday in Kyrgyzstan.

John and Jeannette Metzger told WRAL they've turned down more than a dozen interviews from local and national media out of concern for their daughter's safety. But now, they've opened up about their ordeal.

Family Of Missing Servicewoman Prays For Safe Return

"You see others go through this," said Jeannette Metzger. "It happens to them and it's terrible. But when it happens to you, it's your child ... your heart hurts."

The Metzgers received a call Monday that Jill was missing while on deployment in Kyrgyzstan, northeast of Iraq. Jeannette spoke to her daughter the day before she vanished from a shopping center.

"She just said she loved us and she couldn't wait to come home," said Jeannette Metzger.

"You just don't believe it's happening," said John Metzger. "But then again, she's in a combat zone and ... you understand those are the things that happen in a combat zone."

Jill Metzger was scheduled to return home on Thursday. Her parents said she had much to return to: a husband she married just five days before being deployed, a loving family and one of her closest companions, her dog Kolby.

"Jill is one of the most giving and caring people you would ever want to meet," said John Metzger.

Her family is holding firm in its faith that she will make it home safe.

"Our prayer is she is alive, and if she is alive, I know that she will return to us," said Jeannette Metzger.

Kyrgyzstan officials do not believe Jill Metzger was kidnapped, because police have not received a ransom demand. The Air Force is still searching for Metzger, and it hasn't ruled out the possibility that she has been kidnapped.


Mark Simpson, Photographer
Dana Franks, Web Editor

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