KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Family, friends and a community came together to honor the life of Jayden Robker in the glow of candlelight.
The 13-year-old’s body was found last week in a Gladstone pond. It came as police had been looking for the 13-year-old for a month.
Jayden’s family and the community held a vigil for him Wednesday evening to say goodbye. It was held at the pond where Robker’s body was found.
About 200 people were there to show support.
“So many that I just got chills,” aunt Susan Deedon said.
Family, friends, strangers dress in purple for Robker. Through the tears, they prayed, sang and lit candles for a bright spirit lost from this world too soon.
“This shouldn’t be happening. We shouldn’t even be going through any of this,” Deedon said. “But I’m just so grateful for everybody’s support and love that they’ve shown.”
Deedon never imagined she’d have to say goodbye to her 13-year-old nephew — lighting a lantern where his body was found.
Before the vigil, she found one of Jayden’s shoes on the embankment.
“Even though I know he’s gone, and I know this was the spot,” Deedon said, “finding his shoe, waiting for the police department to come collect it as evidence is just, it’s horrible. It’s so horrible.”
Police have not said how Jayden died, but investigators said preliminary autopsy results show no evidence of foul play.
In the meantime, a community mourns.
“My son, he came and dropped some stuffed animals off,” Allison Miles said.
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They remember Robker — a caring, kind 13-year-old, who would be a friend to all.
“He was smart, he was lovable,” Miles said. “I just can’t imagine my own kid in that pond.”
The family is planning a celebration of life Saturday. They said the visitation is open to the public at the Good Shepherd Church in Gladstone from 12:30-2:30 p.m.