42-year-old mother and grandmother Chenell Renee Gilbert worked as a substitute teacher in Indianapolis, Indiana. Described as the "family planner", Chenell was close to her loved ones, especially her children.
“Anytime we had any cousins come over, she was the one that had all of the cousins coming over,” her daughter Cierra McCaleb told Fox 59. “She loved making, planning events for people. That was kind of like her newest project she was doing at the time.”
On June 9, 2020, Chenell Gilbert left to visit her ex-boyfriend, Bryan Lyons, around 6:00 am in the 7000 block of Mars Drive in the SunGate housing edition of Indianapolis, Indiana. Chenell planned to return to the home of her daughter, Cierra McCaleb, later the same afternoon but never arrived.
According to WTHR, Chenell texted her younger daughter and said she would be home by noon. When she did not come home, Cierra started calling her mother but Chenell never answered. Cierra used a location app to track her mother's phone. The phone pinged to the home of Chenell's ex, Bryan.
According to her family, Bryan was an abusive ex to Chenell.
“It was just unbelievable. And when they told that they had traced her cell phone back to her ex-boyfriend’s house that’s when I became a little concerned,” her aunt Sherri Ross told Fox 59.
Her daughter drove over to his house to look for her mother. Chenell's car was in the driveway of his home. Bryan admitted that Chenell came by but said it was earlier, and he never let her into his house. Bryan refused to let Cierra search his home, so she called the police. He refused entry to officers, as well. Three days later, authorities got a warrant to search the home. There was no sign of Chenell. Authorities refuse to name Bryan Lyons as a suspect, and he has never been charged with the disappearance of Chenell Gilbert.
“It makes me feel angry, it makes me feel sad because he was the last person that we know she was in contact with,” her aunt Sherri told Fox 59.
“I feel like if it had been taken more seriously, she would have been found,” Cierra told WTHR. "I really, really miss her. I realize she taught me a lot, a lot."
According to a petition for the arrest of Bryan Lyons on Change.org, he has refused to speak with investigators or her children and has provided zero assistance in the search for Chenell.
The Change.org petition reads:
"Bryan Lyons is the last person that has seen Ms. Gilbert since her disappearance, her phone was last pinged to his address. When detectives conducted a thorough search all 3 of Lyons homes, her car was at one of his homes but Ms. Gilbert and her other personal belongings were no where to be found. Lyons refuses to further speak to detectives about her disappearance and whereabouts. He has not shown any remorse for her children or even tried to help find Ms. Gilbert. Lyons has been lying to the IMPD about what happened the day of her disappearance."
“You’re waking up over and over again with this heavyweight on your shoulder, and you just can’t get it off and it’s like there’s no closure,” Cierra told WTHR.
Chenell has never been found.
Chenell Renee Gilbert is 5'1" and weighed 169 pounds when she vanished. If you have any information please contact the Indianapolis Police Department at 317-327-6160.
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