The mother of a missing sailor from metro Atlanta took to Facebook to tearfully plead with the U.S. Navy for more information about her son's disappearance.
Alicia McCalla said her son, Morehouse College graduate Lt. j.g. Asante McCalla, has been missing since Sunday morning. McCalla and her husband, Howard McCalla, are Gwinnett County educators. She is a librarian at Trickum Middle School and he is an assistant principal at Parkview High School.
"Three Navy petty officers came to see us on Sunday evening, and they read to us two sentences about what happened to our child," McCalla said in the video. "So far, we have not been contacted by anyone on his ship, the C.G. 70 U.S.S. Lake Erie."
She said she learned more about his disappearance from news reports than from official channels.
According to a press release from the Navy, a sailor aboard the Lake Erie was reported missing at 7 a.m. Sunday after failing to report for duty. The ship had been operating with the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group off the California coast when the sailor disappeared, according to a spokesman with the 3rd Fleet.
The sailor's family was notified, the spokesman said.
On Tuesday, the Navy Times reported 3rd Fleet spokesman Lt. Cmdr. John Fage declined to confirm the missing sailor’s identity. He insisted search and rescue efforts by Navy and Coast Guard crews continue.
"The Navy Times has been given more information than we have been given about the missing, or disappearance of our son," Alicia McCalla said ... I need to get updates from someone in a position of power to let me know what they have done to find my child."
The strike group immediately began searching for the sailor Sunday morning, presuming he fell overboard, according to the Times. By Monday afternoon, the Coast Guard had canvassed nearly 5,000 square miles of the ocean using vessels and aircraft, the newspaper reported.
McCalla pleaded with her Facebook friends to share the video, hoping for news of her son.
“If you're out there, can you send some prayers up to bring my baby boy home?” she asked. “Asante is an excellent child.”
Officials have not provided any further updates in the search.
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