It must also be noted that you should never allow your contracts to reach such a point. $16,000 billed on an hourly contract with nothing being turned in is pretty insane. In the future, vet the work diary at regular intervals and get each work week's work product sent over to you.
Nobody here wants to see clients have disappointing experiences.
There are many "best practices" that clients can use to ensure that their projects are completed efficiently and affordably. But clients are not born with such knowledge. Just as clients do not necessarily come to Upwork imbued with an understanding of the site's purpose.
This thread is another example of a conversation in a previous thread, which asks questions about to what extent Upwork itself is responsible for misunderstanding among clients about what Upwork does and does not do:
I'm a little surprised you let a freelancer go 5 months and $16,000 with no work product turned in. As a client, when I hire a freelancer, even hourly, I request every week that they send me the current draft of file of the project, in case anything happens to them , then I can send at least the incomplete file to someone new to keep going.
You said you could lose your job. Please read up on project management because if you lose your job it's not because of this freelancer, but because you have failed to manage them correctly. Yes, this freelancer is culpable for not managing their own work better and making sure you have copies of files, etc. But in the end it's really your responsibility to tell the freelancer what you expect at every junction of the project and have regular check-ins and delivery of work. I hope this helps as you move forward.