Search for Gerry Manley Intensifies This Weekend

By: Rachel Alig Email
By: Rachel Alig Email

The search crew of KlaasKIDS Foundation, a national non-profit organization, arrived in Collinsville Thursday, ready to find Gerry Manley of Meridian.

The 24-year-old Manley has not been seen since the night of Feb. 12, 2010, inside the Philadelphia Wal-Mart.

Brad Dennis, the director of search operations for KlaasKIDS, says the search requires community help.

"We're doing this more for the community. So this is going to be family, friends, anybody that wants to come out and volunteer, as long as they're 18 years of age," said Dennis.

Those who wish to help with the search must also present a valid photo I.D. Before the efforts to find Manley begin, volunteers will be briefed.

"How to organize a grid search, what to do once you are actually in the field, how to maintain your line straight," Dennis explained.

Manley's mother, Dale Sims, is paying close attention to all of these details. She says focusing on the search efforts helps her to get through this difficult time.

"I can't explain it. It's overwhelming sometimes," said Sims. "And as long as I'm working on it, then I'm O.K."

The search for Manley starts Friday at 9 a.m. and goes until 4 p.m. It starts again Saturday, from 8 a.m. until noon. Manley's family is asking anyone to help, whether you knew him or not.

"We need everybody, even people we don't even know," said Sims. "Because the more people we have while Brad and them are here, the more area we can cover. So we need everybody, anybody, who is willing."

The search headquarters is First Baptist Church of Collinsville, 9241 Highway 19 North, about 7 miles north of Meridian.

A candlelight vigil for Manley will be held Friday at 8 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Collinsville.

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