‘We are scared’ — Vigil held for teacher missing for two weeks

PORTAGE, Mich. -- Police and family members are searching for a Schoolcraft Spanish teacher who has been missing since May 18.

Officials in Portage say Theresa Lockhart worked out at local fitness center around 5 p.m. that day, went home and then texted family later that night.  She was last seen leaving her home around 10 p.m.

Nobody has heard from her since, but her car was found at a Park & Ride just miles from her house.

Lockhart's former parish, St. Mary Magdalen in Kentwood, held a vigil for her Thursday night. Michelle Addington, lifelong friend of Lockhart, was among those who attended.

Theresa is the godmother of one of Michelle's children, and had been invited to a confirmation ceremony and party for her goddaughter.

"I text her on Tuesday, and this is going back to May 16, and asked her about coming to my daughter's party on Sunday," said Addington. "I kept texting her when she didn't show up on Sunday, and I just never heard from her again."

She says that isn't like Theresa.  Not only would she not miss an event, but Addington says she certainly wouldn't miss a Catholic event.

Most people at the prayer service for Lockhart on Thursday said they would describe her as a "saint" and a devout Catholic.

"She was a very serious Catholic and she took her faith very seriously, and again this is why it does not make sense that she would vanish the way she has," Dale Wood, a college friend of Lockhart, said.

Michelle and Michelle's mother, Vel Duiben, said they called police after Theresa didn't show up to her daughter's confirmation and didn't answer their calls.  They said officers told them Theresa had been reported missing five days earlier.

"Nobody knew except her husband... No one we spoke with knew except her husband, Christopher," Duiben said. "The people we spoke with practically found out five days later just like us."

Michelle and Vel said they feel powerless in this situation, but on Thursday and every day until they find Theresa they will pray for her safe return.

"We are trying to be positive but jeez we are scared. In all honesty, we are scared. It's just not like her," Duiben said.

If you see Lockhart you are urged to call Silent Observer at 269-343-2100 or  Portage police at 269.329.4567

A public search will be happening in Portage on Sunday from 9 am to 2 PM. Some of the details are still being ironed out, but updates are provided on their Facebook page. 

 

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