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Missing teen's mother mourns after police identify body found Friday

'It brings closure, but it doesn’t bring my son back'
Jayden Robker memorial
Posted at 4:54 PM, Mar 12, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-12 23:33:27-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Jayden Robker, 13, was identified by police Sunday as the body recovered from a pond in Gladstone, Missouri, Friday. He went missing Feb. 2.

Heather Robker, Jayden’s mother, says she held out hope her son would come home safe.

“Now knowing what happened to my child — it brings closure, but it doesn’t bring my son back. It doesn’t,” she said. “The hope is what kept it alive. And just the sightings of Jay and everything just kept making me think, ‘Okay, maybe he is okay. Maybe I will find him soon.’”

Jayden was last seen near Northwest Plaza Drive and Northwest Plaza Avenue. Friday, his body was found about 1 mile away in a body of water near a wooded area by Northwest Englewood Road and North Broadway.

“It just makes me feel like I should have looked. Something was telling me to look,” Heather Robker said Sunday afternoon.

Less than a week before the body was located, Robker was in the same area canvassing for information about her son.

“But I just pray that he knows I love him, deeply,” she said. “And he will be truly missed because he was everything to me. He was.”

In the weeks since Jayden's disappearance, Heather Robker says her family has faced increased scrutiny. She personally received death threats and was blamed for her son’s disappearance.

But when police identified Jayden’s body Sunday, authorities were clear there is no initial evidence of foul play.

“I have to put my 13-year-old son to rest. And the fact of knowing that I didn’t get to tell my son, 'I love you, goodbye,' being able to hug him, it’s hurtful,” Heather Robker said. “People don’t understand what a family goes through when you are under the microscope. For people to think these things, it hurts.”

The family is planning a candlelight memorial in Jayden’s honor. Further details will be released in the following days.