(CAMERON, Mo.) A hurting community came together Friday night to pray for one of their own, missing 23-year-old Leah Dawson. Dawson has been missing since June 4, and family and friends are doing what they can to keep spirits up.
Dozens of people showed up to the prayer vigil Friday night.
"They were prayers from people's hearts and that's the kind of stuff that's going to support this family," Vicki Copp with the Church of the Nazarene said.
Organizers of the event said that they wanted to show Dawson's family that the community is supporting them during this difficult time.
"We are a small community but with that we tend to really wrap our arms around one another like family," Paula Allen, the vigil organizer said.
Dawson has been missing for more than two weeks. She was last seen in the Cameron area with her boyfriend. Last week, tips led authorities to search a rural Maysville property but she was not found.
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Dawson's parents at the vigil said that holding events like the one held Friday will keep Dawson's disappearance in the forefront of everyone's minds.
"We don't want people to forget and me for as her mother, I'm not going to let that happen," Tonya Eldregde, Dawson's mother, said.
During the last few weeks, the community has stepped up to hang up flyers across the area and show the family their support.
"You see not only everyone who loves us but loves Leah and everyone who misses her and wants her back no matter where she is or what's happened," Eldregde said. "Everyone is here, everybody's hurting."
In the small towns of Cameron and Maysville, Dawson's disappearance is hitting close to home for people who live in those communities.
"It just rips your heart completely out. You just want to try and do what you can do to support and pray and love them through it," Allen said. "I think every one of us that has children has taken that step back and looked at it like 'Oh my gosh, what if that were our daughter.'"
The DeKalb County Sheriff's Office continues to investigate the disappearance. Anyone with information is urged to contact the sheriff's office at 816-449-5802.
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