BLACK VOICES

3 Weeks In, Cops Say Foul Play 'A Definite Possibility' In Kiera Bergman's Disappearance

The missing teen's dad said he "knew that from the beginning."

It’s been three weeks since 19-year-old Kiera Bergman was reported missing in Arizona, and police now say there may have been foul play involved.

Bergman has not been seen since Aug. 4, when her boyfriend claims she stormed out of her Phoenix apartment, and she hasn’t been in communication with anyone since that time.

“Our investigators have their suspicions,” Phoenix Police Department Sgt. Vince Lewis told HuffPost on Monday. “Foul play is a definite possibility, and we’ve spoken with the family to prepare them for anything that may or may not come out as a result of this investigation.”

Bergman’s father, Chris Bragg, told HuffPost he’s troubled it took police so long to publicly acknowledge the suspicious circumstances surrounding his daughter’s disappearance.

“We knew that from the beginning,” Bragg told HuffPost on Monday.

Bergman’s boyfriend, Jon-Christopher Clark, 23, was arrested on Aug. 17 on charges unrelated to her disappearance. He faces 22 counts of aggravated identity theft and two counts of forgery, according to police.

“He garnered the charges based on criminal activity that we discovered while going through his vehicle,” Lewis said.

Authorities took Clark into custody roughly an hour after he told HuffPost he’d refused an offer by Phoenix police to take a polygraph test.

“I didn’t want to do anything that would give the indication I was hiding anything but also didn’t want anything on the record that would have them say I was doing anything or had any part in this,” Clark said.

Clark said police served him several search warrants and collected his DNA.

“DNA was one of the stipulations of the court order, so they took my DNA ― did swabs, all kinds of fingerprints, my wrists, hands, everything ― and took numerous pictures of me and my tattoos,” he said.

Clark said he fully cooperated with police, except for agreeing to take a so-called lie detector test, and that he did not request an attorney.

Authorities did not confirm or deny any of Clark’s claims.

“We’ve spoken to him, and no charges related to the disappearance of Kiera have been levied against him,” Lewis said.

Bragg told HuffPost that police have been tight-lipped about the investigation.

There is “nothing new that the police have shared with us,” he said. “I think they have told the press more than us.”

Authorities continue to ask anyone who might have information in the case to come forward.

“If [a tip] leads to an arrest, [the tipster] could be eligible for a reward,” Lewis said.

Kiera Bergman is a 5-foot-3-inch black woman who weighs 145 pounds. Anyone with any information is asked to call Silent Witness at (480) W-I-T-N-E-S-S. Spanish-speakers may call (480) T-E-S-T-I-G-O. 

Bergman’s friends and family members are posting updates about the case on Facebook. They are encouraging everyone to share her story using the tag #bringkierahome.

Send David Lohr an email or follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

HuffPost

BEFORE YOU GO

PHOTO GALLERY
Missing People
CONVERSATIONS