Jon-Christopher Clark is the boyfriend of Kiera Lanae Bergman, who has been missing since Aug. 4. Clark is the last known person to see Bergman.
David Wallace, Arizona Republic
The boyfriend of missing 19-year-old Kiera Bergman, last seen Aug. 4 at her Glendale apartment, says Phoenix police questioned him Monday and released him after several hours.
Jon-Christopher Clark, 23, told The Arizona Republic during his first interview with the media on Wednesday, that he was the last person to be with Bergman on the Saturday she went missing.
He believes that is a reason he has come under suspicion in her disappearance.
“I had nothing to do with anything that’s going on,” Clark said. ” I love Kiera with all my heart, I want Kiera to come home.”
Prayers, tears, and hugs were shared this past Saturday at a candlelit vigil held for Bergman outside her Glendale apartment complex. Clark was asked not to attend.
Kiersten Bragg, Bergman’s mother, told The Republic at the event: “We’ve asked him not to come,” adding that she believes he may somehow be responsible for her daughter’s disappearance.
The woman’s father, Chris Bragg, expressed the same suspicion to The Republic.
Clark showed The Republic several social media messages he said were exchanges with Kiersten Bragg, who eventually stopped responding to him.
Clark said that two days after the vigil, he “was surrounded by about 20 police officers,” in a parking lot near 27th Avenue and Thunderbird Road in Phoenix.
“They told me they had a court order,” he said. “They had me handcuffed … and when I was in the interview room I was handcuffed to the table, and they let me go that night. I’m not in connection with anything.”
Phoenix Police Sgt. Vince Lewis said he couldn’t comment on Clark’s account.
Lewis said the case still is considered a missing person investigation. If any evidence of a crime was discovered, the investigation would become criminal, Lewis added.
Timeline before disappearance
Bergman moved out of her family’s San Diego County home in March to live in Phoenix with Clark, Kiersten Bragg said.
A few weeks after Bergman moved, she told her family the two broke up and that she moved into an apartment with her friend Destiny Hall-Chand, Bragg added.
Clark said he moved in with the two in mid-June after he reconciled with Bergman. Hall-Chan also confirmed that, during an interview at the Saturday vigil.
Chris Bragg described his daughter’s relationship with Clark as on again, off again.
Clark described a situation that seemed to back up that claim.
The pair would have ups and downs that occasionally resulted in one abruptly leaving for a few hours at a time during an argument, Clark said. But nothing like what happened Aug. 4, which was Clark’s birthday, he said.
Bergman had left for work that morning at a Glendale business that arranges furniture leases for customers. Clark showed text messages to The Republic from that day.
Clark messaged Bergman “I love you Kiera,” at 7:02 a.m. that morning.
“I love you too,” Bergman responded.
At 10:26 a.m., Bergman messaged Clark “you need to come get me.”
Hall-Chand, who works at the same business, said Bergman seemed noticeably upset at work that day and left early when Clark picked her up.
Bergman abruptly leaves
Clark told The Republic that the two went back to the apartment.
“She’s trying to keep me in good spirits because it’s my birthday. But I was kind of sad because we weren’t really doing anything and then we just started getting into a little bickering, arguing and then she got upset and then she left,” between 12:30 and 1 p.m.
“Where did you go,” Clark asked Bergman in a text message sent at 1:06 p.m.
Kiera responded with her last message at 1:54 p.m., referencing an issue the two were arguing about but did not disclose her location.
At 4:08 p.m., Clark messaged Kiera again “Where are you at??”
Hall-Chand said she had a text exchange with Kiera as well later in the day.
“She told me that she was picked up by someone, someone that she had met at the store a couple of days ago. This person is unknown. … nothing makes sense.” She did not specify what time that conversation took place.
Clark and Hall-Chand sent several messages to Bergman throughout that Saturday evening and Sunday as well.
Hall-Chand said, “I was just figuring she’s just upset right now, maybe she needs some time to cool off. When she didn’t go to work that Monday (Aug. 6) I knew there was something wrong.”
Hall-Chand met Clark at their apartment that day, and Clark called the police.
“I understand everything that they’re (Bergman’s family) going through, that they want to find Kiera and find answers,” Clark said. “But my heart is in the same place that their’s is, and wishing and praying for Kiera to come home safe.”
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