INDEPENDENCE, Mo. - A crowd of 100 people came out to a vigil for missing Colorado girl Jessica Ridgeway on Wednesday night, even though many have never met her.
Jessica’s father, Jeremiah Bryant, lives in Independence, Mo., but is in Colorado helping with the investigation.
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The vigil was held at an Independence park where the 10-year-old has played while visiting him. For about an hour, people prayed, sang and hoped their support was being felt by the parents more than 600 miles away.
Larry Moss is Jessica’s great-uncle, and helped lead the group in prayer Wednesday night.
"Jessica, if you're out there, darling, we're going to find you,” he said.
Moss was visibly moved when a stranger gave him a purple teddy bear. He explained purple and green are Jessica’s favorite colors.
“We're going to make sure this gets to her when she gets home," he said.
Michelle Miller said her daughter bought the bear while on the way to the vigil. While she doesn’t know Jessica’s family, she said that as a mother herself, she just wanted to show them some support.
Family friend Kathy Kress said Jessica meant the world to Bryant, who got to spend time with her at the very park where the vigil was held six weeks ago when she came to visit.
"Even though he didn't get to see her on a regular basis, (Bryant) always thought about her, and there's not a day that goes by that he didn't think about her," Kress said.
Jessica’s family asks that anyone interested in helping find her go the Facebook page set up for her and spread the word at www.facebook.com/MissingJessicaRidgeway
Police in Colorado say there have been reports coming from all over the country, and it could take just one person to tip them off to bring Jessica home.
On Wednesday evening, police announced they found a body in a park that afternoon, but they cannot confirm whether it’s Jessica.
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