Search for missing Marine vet in Clementon

CLEMENTON, N.J. (WPVI) -- Authorities in New Jersey are searching for a missing Marine veteran. Both officials and his family are trying to figure out if foul play was involved.

It has been nearly three weeks since Lance James was last seen.

The 29-year-old had gotten into a fight at the Hide-A-Way Tavern in Clementon, got kicked out and started walking home.

Some local surveillance cameras captured him approaching his apartment a few blocks away, but then it's as if he simply disappeared.

His estranged wife, Brittany James, says there's a part of her that doesn't want to know what happened, but there's another part that has to know.

"I'm very scared to get that news or that phone call because he was a good person in so many ways," said Brittany James, estranged wife.

Lance was a U.S. Marine who served two tours of duty in the Middle East. Family members say he returned suffering from symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, and that put a real strain on his marriage.

Brittany's mother, Deneen Lezotte, says even though her daughter and Lance are separated, she has nothing but nice things to say.

"I know he's a great kid, I know that Lance. He would give you his last shirt off his back, and walk away, and not even ask for it back. That's just the type of kid he is," said Lezotte, James' mother-in-law.

Meanwhile, local and county search and rescue teams have been scouring every corner of Clementon, and surrounding communities.

"Our wooded areas, our marshy areas, our wetlands, Clementon Amusement Park, vacant houses," said Clementon Police Investigator Shaun McCann. "So far nothing."

And Brittany James says the most difficult part of this ordeal is trying to explain what's happening to their 5-year-old daughter.

"What do you tell a 5-year-old, you know, that you might not get a chance to see your daddy again," said Brittany James. "It's heartbreaking."

Anyone with information is asked to call police.
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