Family pleas for help to find missing Lake Co. man - FOX 35 News Orlando

Family pleas for help to find missing Lake Co. man

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A candle burns continuously in Xavier Tarrand's home. His family members are waiting for him to return home.

"Every day I wait on him to come back," said Renee Young, Tarrand's aunt.

Loved ones said Tarrand was respectful and always greeted them with a helping hand.

"I told my mom, I said now when I come he's not there to do that," said Janice Stroud, his aunt.

Family and friends last saw Tarrand on January 15.

Lake County deputies said a friend dropped off Tarrand at the RaceTrac gas station near the intersection of State Road 50 and County Road 33 in Groveland.

Tarrand was last spotted getting into a black four-door Honda. Deputies said he was expected to meet a friend a few minutes later, but never showed up.

"He never stayed away from home," said Young.

His mother, Wanda Tarrand, fought back tears as she talked about her son.

"I don't feel like living no more," said Wanda Tarrand. "It's hard."

Tarrand's mother said her son always checked in with family, especially with his grandmother, Cornelia Perry.

"About to worry me to death," said Perry. "It's painful. I keep a headache all the time."

Tarrand grew up in his grandmother's Mascotte home. No one has gone into his room since he was reported missing.

"Right now, we don't go in there," said Wanda Tarrand. "My momma won't let us go in there. We got the door locked. He's such a neat person. It's just like he left it."

Tarrand turned 24 the day before he was reported missing. His aunt, Rene Young, made his favorite red velvet cake for him. Now, it sits in a cake carrier in the living room next to Tarrand's bible.

"I made him one special," said Young. "It's still there waiting for him."

Deputies are calling Tarrand's disappearance "suspicious."

"I just miss him," said Jasmine Merkuson, Tarrand's girlfriend. "I just want him to come home."

Tarrand's family members have passed out more than 1000 fliers in the last four weeks. They're asking for anyone with information on his whereabouts to call police.

"I'd rather have a dead body than not to know nothing," said Wanda Tarrand.

"I love you so much," said Merkuson. "I promise I love you so much. And I just want you to come home."

Wanda Tarrand tells FOX 35 she's heard from the grandmother of Trenton Duckett. He's the 2-year-old who went missing in 2006.

Wanda Tarrand said she's also heard from parents of other missing children and the support helps.

The family is organizing a rally for unity and peace. It will take place on Saturday, February 22, at 3 p.m. at the Stuckey Loop in the South Lake Community in Groveland. The public is invited to attend.

Meanwhile, anyone with information is asked to call Crimeline at 1-800-423-TIPS.

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