Family of woman missing in Wilson Co. plead for answers

WSMV's Marissa Sulek reports on an ongoing search for a missing woman in Wilson County.
Published: Nov. 3, 2022 at 6:03 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - A Boston family drove hours to Wilson County this week to search for their lost daughter. Michaelle Van Kleef went missing Sunday night and crews have been on the ground looking for clues.

Her parents, Amanda and Lawrence Van Kleef, say Michaelle came to Wilson County to study at a dog-training facility. It was her first time away from her family and she was supposed to fly back to Boston Wednesday night.

Michaelle and her sister, Gabrielle, started a band called Grafted Culture when they lived in Clifton, TN earlier this year. They have 40,000 followers, but their parents say Michaelle doesn’t care about the fame or the money, she lives to give back to her community.

“She’s always known she wants to work with people with disabilities,” Amanda Van Kleef said.

That’s why she came to Wilson Co. to train at K-9 Companion Nashville. Michaelle came for a three-week trip to work with service dogs.

“We moved to Boston, we were there for two weeks,” Amanda says. “I put her on a plane, and she was supposed to fly home yesterday evening.”

Amanda says Michaelle FaceTimes her family multiple times a day. But Monday, she didn’t call a single person.

”I looked across the table at my oldest daughter and asked, “who spoke to Michaelle?” Amanda said. “She looked at me like, ‘no.” Just blank. I looked over at my youngest and just blank. I looked at my son, blank. I looked at my husband and said, “no one spoke to Michaelle today?”

Amanda says she called the dog-training facility, spoke to the owners, who checked Michaelle’s room and realized she was gone. Now, law enforcement and even people who live nearby are searching for 19-year-old.

“She was spending full days, on her off days, going back and forth to the facility and the lake,” Amanda explains.

As her mother clings to a shirt Michaelle brought to Tennessee, she hopes her daughter is close and safe because she has her entire life to live.

“We’ve always grilled that into our kids,” Amanda said. “You know, you live for something bigger than yourself.”

Amanda says Michaelle got an iPhone right before her trip. However, the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office says that phone was left behind. She only took her wallet and bank card. Her parents say nothing has been charged to that card.

Her family is offering a $25,000 reward for any information.

Michaelle Van Kleef was last seen in Mount Juliet around the Benders Ferry Road area. Deputies say it’s unknown what she may be wearing.

Van Kleef has brown hair and blue eyes. She is 5′3″ and weighs 120 pounds.

If you have information about her whereabouts, contact the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office at 615-444-1412.