Gatton to hold candlelight vigil for Jayde Kendall
THE Lockyer Valley communities refuse to give up hope of a miracle that Jayde Kendall will return.
Where she is, and what has possibly happened to her, remains a mystery, but one thing is certain - the community's grief is being outshone by optimism.
Mayor Steve Jones said residents around the region were being optimistic that the missing Gatton teenager would return to her family.
"I think from time to time we hear stories about people who have disappeared for various reasons," Cr Jones said.
"Sometimes it's not even sinister - it's medical or some other reason.
"You see it on TV that they have disappeared for years and then just turn up.
"We have to keep that in our mind."
Cr Jones said the community had rallied around Jayde's family, offering support and services that could help see the 16-year-old's eventual return.
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He said if any residents had been fearing that a killer walked among the town, he hadn't heard it.
"I think everyone is trying to be very optimistic," he said.
"Obviously it is a very difficult time emotionally and it is very difficult for her family.
"But the community is 100 per cent behind them and it is terribly important that people are as optimistic as they can be."
Cr Jones said the region always rallied together during difficult times, and highlighted the togetherness the community shared during the deadly Grantham floods.
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He said in the face of tragedy, the community worked together and remained optimistic, and that's what was needed during the ongoing search for Jayde.
"Everyone at this stage is trying to be really positive and hope for a safe return and it's very important they do think that way," Cr Jones said.
"It's one of those things that if you're positive, you keep the spirits up."
Cr Jones will join the community at a candlelight vigil at the Peace Lutheran Church at 85 Spencer St, Gatton, tonight from 7.30.
Candles will be lit, prayers sent and support offered to Jayde's family.