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Vigil for missing woman
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Anastasia Adams, Olivia Adams and Jodee Carlen bow their heads during a moment of prayer at Thursday’s candlelight vigil for Savannah Smith. Smith, who has been missing since June 8, is employed at the Colleseum which is owned and managed by Carlen. - photo by Photo by Lewis Levine
A candlelight vigil Thursday evening focused on missing Hinesville resident Savannah Smith. The vigil was at the Colleseum, a local eatery where the  missing 22-year old served as a waitress.
Jodee Carlen, the Colleseum’s owner and manager, said she organized the vigil to bring together Smith’s family and friends to pray for her safe return. Approximately 70 of Smith’s co-workers, friends and family were on hand to offer support and prayer.
Odessa Upchurch and Terry Upchurch, Smith’s mother and stepfather, were among them.
Carlen said the couple held strong but had moments where their distress was evident.
“When we were praying for her safe return, we just wanted her home,” Carlen said Saturday morning.
On Friday, a body was found in the Gum Branch area. It could be Smith and Carlen said she fears the worst, but said the vigil still served as a peaceful way in preparing Smith’s friends and family for a possible unfortunate outcome.
“If in fact she is gone, then it was time to start the healing process,” she said. “That is what we were praying for.”
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