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Candlelight vigil held at Clearwater Park for missing swimmer

A group gathered for a vigil for a missing swimmer.

Posted: Jul 29, 2020 8:36 PM
Updated: Jul 30, 2020 12:29 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — A candlelight vigil was held Wednesday afternoon for Abigael Bellows, a 22-year-old woman who went under water at Clearwater Park and has not been seen since.

Family and friends gathered at the park for a somber ceremony. Prayers were said and hymns were sung, all to help find Abigael.

Abigail's family flew to Oregon to help with the search, which has been underway since July 22. Authorities said she was not wearing a life jacket at the time. 

Alicia Bellows said her niece established herself in the Eugene community after two years of living in the area. She said Abigael loved Eugene.

“She came to Eugene to visit a friend and she could never leave,” Bellows said. “We flew her back home several times and every time this place was just calling to her and she kept coming back.”

At the end of the vigil, the crowd of 30 threw flowers into the river, hoping Abigael can be found.

MORE: FAMILY TRAVELS CROSS-COUNTRY TO JOIN SEARCH FOR MISSING DAUGHTER

Longtime parkgoers said that the Middle Fork Willamette River near the area has a strong current and recommended against swimming near the Clearwater Park landing.

"It's not something for someone who isn't an experienced swimmer to be swimming in. It's deceiving, with it looking as calm as it is, because the current is stronger than you could imagine," said Springfield resident Denise Porter. "Always wear a life preserver because you don't know what's under the water, for one."

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