BRAYMER, Mo. — In a community of less than a thousand, more than a hundred Braymer residents gathered on a bridge Friday night for a candlelight vigil for two missing Wisconsin brothers, now believed dead.
Clinton County Sheriff Larry Fish said Friday the investigation into the disappearance of Nick and Justin Diemel had changed from a missing persons case to a death investigation.
“We want to just lift them up in prayer and support them and let them know that we are with them the best that we can be,” Pastor Bob Vermillion said.
Residents in areas of Clinton and Caldwell counties said it’s been a tough week watching and waiting as investigators searched meticulously at the cattle farm of Garland Joseph Nelson where the brothers were visiting and other areas.
“This is such a small, close knit community. I think all week we’ve really had a heaviness and a burden in all of us, kind of shock,” Gina Vermillion said.
They were equally heartbroken when a member of their own community was charged in connection to the case.
The Diemel brothers headed to Nelson’s farm on Sunday morning. On Monday, their truck was found abandoned in Holt.
Nelson has been charged with tampering with a motor vehicle after officials say he drove the brother’s rental truck Sunday from his farm to a Holt parking lot.
“I cried because I didn’t think that was right. There were so many innocent people involved here,” Shelly Murray said.
Resident hope by coming together for the Wisconsin family they’ve never met, they can show a better Braymer than the nation has got to know this week, as similar vigils were held in Wisconsin.
“I just think tonight was a good chance for us just to comfort one another, encourage one another and just have some peace and just turn over to the Lord to know he’s going to get everyone through even though they are hurting,” Vermillion said.