A crowd that seemed never-ending struggled to sing Amazing Grace. No one could hold back tears at a candlelight and prayer vigil that shouldn't even be.
"There's a 12 year old girl out there and everyone wants her to come home safe," said Carmella Neira, a community member who attended the vigil. The missing girl is 12 year old Autumn Pasquale. She vanished Saturday afternoon.
The emotion cut like a knife. Autumn's mother and sister broke down at the vigil. Her father could do nothing but cry out for his baby girl to return. It seemed all of Clayton gathered in the tiny space outside the township building.
"A lot of us have kids and it hits at home so it's just devastating to the family," said Neira.
Jolietha Gibson brought her kids along with her and said, "I wanted to come out and support the family because if it was one of my kids I would want them to do the same with me." She sobbed with her arm around her young daughter Breanna. Autumn's aunt Sharon urged everyone to send up prayers.
"Just pray for her to come home safely," she said. Frank Spadora, an uncle, said the family is staying hopeful through their faith.
"It's going to be our prayers that are answered by God. That's the only hope we have that through God we find Autumn."
Autumn's birthday is next Monday. She'll turn 13 years old. The community is planning a big party for her at the local park. They pray she'll be there.