Many attend 'Families of Missing People' vigil in honor of missing family members

By Destiny McKeiver - Multi-media journalist

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Loved ones of missing people in Jacksonville are praying for a miracle this holiday season.

"I don’t believe that God would have people still praying if there wasn't a reason," said Darlene Briggs, grandmother of a missing teen. 

Briggs is one of several people who met with Families of Missing People on Sunday. Her grandson, Bryan Hayes, went missing from Paxon Middle School in 2005. He and a friend have not been found.

Many of the people attending Sunday's vigil at the Immaculate Church of Conception, haven’t seen their loved ones in years, but this holiday they’re praying that changes. 

A prayer was led by Margaret Rowan, the mother of John Rowan, a Jacksonville businessman missing for over a decade. 

The Rowan family heads an organization called Families of Missing People. They comfort others dealing with similar situations. 

"We decided to come together for Thanksgiving week because we know there’s a family member missing at our table each dinner for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and all of the family get-togethers throughout the year," said Rowan

"Our family has great faith and hope that our boys will come home one day safe and sound," said Briggs. 

And until that day comes, Briggs plans to honor her grandson every chance she gets.

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