There was no holiday cheer this week for the family of Alex Johnson. The laughter and joy that typically warms their hearts this time of the year was replaced by tears and heartache, as they launched an ongoing search for their missing loved one.
Johnson, a 32-year-old resident of Lexington, Ky., has been missing since Friday night. He missed a Saturday meeting at the University of Kentucky, where he is employed as a campus chef, and he has not been in contact with friends or family.
"It's completely out of character. He would never go more than a few hours without calling his girlfriend or family," Johnson's sister, Cayce Johnson, told The Huffington Post. "He's never missed a work meeting or Christmas with his family."
According to Cayce Johnson, her brother went to work Friday afternoon and returned home, with plans to meet friends later that night. She said his girlfriend was the last person to speak with him.
"He was on the phone with her when someone came to the door," Cayce Johnson said. "He told her he would call her back later and he never did."
Cayce Johnson said concern turned to fear on Monday, when her brother failed to show up for a preplanned shopping trip.
"We were going to go Christmas shopping. When he did not arrive that's when we really knew something was wrong," she said.
Alex Johnson's car still sits at his residence and cellphone records indicate he has not used his phone since Friday night, his sister said.
Adding to the mystery of Alex Johnson's disappearance is the fact that, according to his sister, he had no known enemies and no desire that they are aware of to take off of his own volition.
"He's a really great guy. He never met anyone he didn't like and he never met anyone that didn't like him. He is deeply loved by friends and family," Cayce Johnson said.
The Lexington Police Department, the agency handling the investigation into Alex Johnson's disappearance, did not return a call for comment from HuffPost on Thursday.
Cayce Johnson said the authorities have assured her family they are looking into all leads.
"The police are investigating really thoroughly," she said. "They came over on Christmas Eve and Christmas. They are looking very hard for him."
Christmas, Alex Johnson's sister said, was a somber occasion for her family.
"It was a complete nightmare. It didn't even feel like Christmas," she said.
Alex Johnson is described as 6 feet tall, and 150 pounds, with brown hair and green eyes. Anyone with information about his disappearance is asked to call the Lexington Police Department at (859) 258-3600.
"If anyone has any information big or small please call. It's so important that we get every detail we can possible get," said Cayce Johnson.