Co-workers hope for missing woman’s safe return

Nichelle McKnight and her son, Zaden, are missing. (WDTN Photo)
Nichelle McKnight and her son, Zaden, are missing. (WDTN Photo)

WEST CARROLLTON, Ohio (WDTN) – For the employees at Elé Cake Company in West Carrollton, even the shops bright sweets can’t hide the dark reality.

Their friend and co-worker Nichelle McKnight is missing and feared dead.

“It’s definitely put a damper on everybody’s overall morale in here,” said Brandi Bowman, Nichelle’s supervisor. “It’s just upsetting.”

Bowman said Nichelle started at the bakery last summer and quickly fit in behind the counter.

“She worked really hard. She was awesome always smiling, no matter what was going on,” she added.

Bowman said  Nichelle always talked about her 4-year-old son, Zaden, who has also been missing since March 25.

Nichelle’s co-workers said they knew something wasn’t right when she didn’t show up for work. “We tried to call her. It was going like straight to voicemails, which kind of set off red flags.”

Dayton Police now suspect Nichelle and Zaden were likely killed.

Investigators will not reveal what evidence led them to that conclusion. However, police incident reports obtained by 2 NEWS show that officers suspected Nichelle’s boyfriend, Antwan Anderson, and another woman were using McKnight’s credit card without her permission just a few days before the disappearance.

On Monday, investigators said Anderson shot himself while surrounded by police.

Friends of McKnight’s say they are still hoping for her safe return.

“We just hope that she comes home as unfortunate as everything is right now,” added Bowman. “We just hope that she and Zaden are still here with us and we hope they come back.” provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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