The parents of a Meridian man who has been missing for many months now say they really do not know what to do other than to pray for a good outcome to the case.
Candles used during Wednesday night's prayer vigil represent the hopes and prayers of family members of 27-year old Julius TaDarius Jones. Loved ones tell Newscenter 11 that the only Christmas gift they are interested in receiving this year is him.
"Our hearts are open and we're hoping to see you," Jones father, Jimmy Whitehead, said. "We're hoping that will be a morning, Christmas will be a day that you will come and receive your Christmas gift and we'll have a great day."
While it has been 16 months since Jones was last seen, his parents say they are still in just as much pain now as they were the day they learned of their son's disappearance.
"I just want people to know that this is no joke to us," Jones mother, Tabitha Jones, said. "This is just so hard for us to go day by day and believe that someone will come and tell us something. It's just very hard. It's just unexplainable."
The most recent vigil was back in August of this year in front of the house where Jones' car was found on 27th Street, not long after he went missing. Police tell Newscenter 11 that they continue to investigate this case, but admit they don't have a lot of leads.
"This is still a missing person's case," Captain Dean Harper said. "It is still open. Anything that comes in we do investigate. We do speak to the family from time to time just to let them know where we are. We'll either call them or they'll call us. We keep the lines of communication open."
Family and friends say they are not giving up though until they have the answers they are desperately in need of.
If you have any information about this disappearance, you may contact Crimestoppers at 601-485-1860. You may also send an anonymous letter to P.O. Box 3103; Meridian, MS 39305.
The family maintains a benefit account for donations to aid the investigation at Great Southern National Bank, P.O. Box 1271, Meridian, MS 39302.