CASPER, Wyo, – Citizens who entered the Highland Park Community Church’s main sanctuary on Tuesday night were greeted with a familiar face.
The face was of Joseph “Joey” Peterson, whose bright smile has become known to nearly everyone in town since he went missing over a week ago.
“When God made Joey, He thought that creation would not be complete without his life,” said Pastor Mike Fackler after reciting the Lord’s Prayer during a prayer vigil for Joey and his family.
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Pastor Fackler and others took turns leading prayers, followed by moments of silence that were punctuated with soft sounds of crying.
Prayers were sent for Joey, the search and rescue crews who’ve been looking for clues through rugged terrain, and particularly for Joey’s family.
Fackler expressed the frustration felt by family and community members as the ninth straight day of Joey’s search came to a close. Joey, age 16 and autistic, left the family home on Sunday, November 10, wearing just a hooded sweatshirt and pajama bottoms.
“Lord, we’re here because we don’t know what else to do,” said Fackler. He extended prayers to others who’ve suffered in missing person cases, such as Kris Richardson, who has been missing for five years and whose case remains unsolved.
Fackler ended with a final prayer that, as another cold front moves into the state, God help searchers find Joey, and for Him to comfort his family as they wait.