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Family seeks clues into loved one's disappearance

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Lord family: Police think she's a junky
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • 23-year-old Jenna Lord went missing over the July Fourth weekend
  • She was last seen waiting for a train at a station in Camden, New Jersey
  • Surveillance footage shows Lord and two men walking behind her, her mother says
  • Lord has a troubled past, but had recently begun reforming her life, mom says
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(CNN) -- A formerly troubled young woman who had recently begun to turn her life around went missing in New Jersey over the July Fourth weekend, leaving her family desperately searching for clues into her disappearance, her mother said Wednesday.

Jenna Lord, 23, was last seen the morning of July 5, waiting for a train home to Pennsylvania at the Walter Rand Transportation Center in Camden after attending a Fourth of July gathering the night before, according to her mother, Desiree Caruso.

Caruso told HLN's "Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell" that Lord's cell phone had died sometime over the weekend, and she used a man's phone at the train station to call her mother.

Caruso said she missed the phone call, but talked with the man afterward who told her that her daughter "looked a little scared."

The man told Caruso that he helped Lord buy a train ticket and waited with her until his train arrived.

"His train came a minute before hers and he got on his train and I guess he figured she would get on her train, but she never got home," Caruso said.

The man also said that Lord had been approached by another man, who told him he would make sure she got on her train, saying "I got this," according to Caruso.

Surveillance video apparently shows Lord walking around the train station with two men following "about 5 feet" behind her, according to Caruso, who had seen the footage.

"It looked like they were saying something to her," Caruso said of the tape. "She looked back and then she just kept walking and that's the end [of the tape]."

Lord's aunt, Kimmy McArdle, told HLN that police in Camden and Lord's hometown of Collingdale, Pennsylvania, haven't been helpful in searching for her niece.

"We are desperately, desperately crying for help here," she said, adding that police in both cities have told her "it's not our jurisdiction."

Repeated attempts by HLN to reach the Camden Police Department on Wednesday were unsuccessful.

An officer reached at the Collingdale Police Department said Wednesday that anyone who spots Lord "should call 911," declining to comment further.

Lord's family say police are hesitant to get involved because of their relative's criminal past: She was arrested in 2006 for possession of marijuana, and was arrested on assault charges earlier this year, Delaware County court records show.

But Caruso said Lord has been sober for six months, and had been reading the Bible daily and concentrating on being a mom to her 3-year-old son.

Ed Steele, who said he is Lord's boyfriend and the father of her son, also told "Issues" on Wednesday that "she was sober."