ZION, Ill. (Fox 32 News) - There was not a dry eye in the crowd as family, friends and strangers gathered at the lakefront Thursday night to pray for Cory Rhineheart's safe return. The 28-year-old Army veteran has been missing since Friday.
Zion police has stepped-up their investigation, calling on the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force for help.
Andrea Holmes choked up as she told people at the vigil that she spent the whole day searching for him and couldn't find him.
Although there are no answers yet for the family, they are finding the love of the Zion community.
Those who gathered enthusiastically shouted out loud, "We love you Corey!"
People who never met the family held hands and prayed for his safe return.
“All we wanna know is who the last person was who seen him. That’s all this family wants to know. They hurting. I’m standing here watching them, they’re hurting," said one man in the crowd.
The 28-year-old didn't show up for work Friday morning. By Friday evening, police got a 911 hang up call from Rhineheart's cell phone. Officers went to an apartment at 21st and Gabriel where the phone last pinged and found blood on a door. Six days later, family have been searching on their own in Zion and up into Wisconsin.
“And I walked the trails down there, I didn’t find anything. I walked through the puddles, the bushes, I looked everywhere." said mother Andrea Holmes. She told reporters the disappearance of her son has been "terror, absolute terror."
Family had asked the public to join in their search Thursday night, but after hearing the investigation has new developments, they instead held a vigil at Illinois Beach State Park. Family say they have confidence in the police investigation and believe they're doing everything they can to solve the mystery,
“They’re working tirelessly, and they’re hoping to get it right and give us some answers," said father Melvin Holmes.
Friends are now pleading with the public for any tip saying,“Nothing is too big or too small.”