Jordan Middlebrooks, 21, vanished on the morning of Nov. 23 after spending the previous evening with friends at a bar in Cincinnati, authorities said.
Friends said Middlebrooks, an active National Guard member, left the celebration to crash at a friend's apartment in Cincinnati's College Hill neighborhood. Security camera footage showed him leaving the apartment building on foot late Friday morning, but there's no indication of where he went.
"We're hoping for the best," Naj Jabari, a friend, told ABC Cincinnati affiliate WCPO. "My hope is that we find him safe and sound, no matter where he is. ... I know everyone's just wanting to give him a big ol' hug."
Jabari and others formed a search party, consisting of more than 30 of Middlebrooks' friends and family members, over the weekend. They've scoured the city, knocking on doors and pinning up missing-person posters, but there was still no trace of him by early Wednesday.
Organizers with the Texas Equusearch's Ohio chapter also are assisting. Middlebrooks left his vehicle and cellphone at a Taco Bell parking lot in Covington, Kentucky, just south of Cincinnati, ahead of the Thanksgiving celebration, according to the search party's Facebook page.
"His car was found by search volunteers on Sunday November 25th, empty with his phone in the car," the group wrote on Facebook. "It is believed he was traveling from Hamilton Ave. on foot heading to his car in Covington but never made it to his car."
The group described Middlebrooks as a "beloved, active and well known person in the Northside alternative community" who loved photography.
"He's the sweetest soul. He’s the sweetest guy. He's always around, bringing a smile to everyone around him," Jabari said. "I just want to say 'hi' to Jordan again and see that smile of his."
Nicole Moyer, Middlebrooks' aunt, said his parents are heading to the Ohio area this week to help with the search.
"It's been very difficult not knowing [where he is]. Both of his parents are very concerned," Moyer said. "I really hope Jordan returns knows how much he is loved and we really want him just to come home safely."