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Hundreds turn out to remember the life of Tommy Bryson

Hundreds of people turned out Wednesday night for a vigil to support Tommy bryson's family. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

South Mills River Road was lined with hundreds of people holding candles and flashlights Wednesday night while yellow balloons swayed in the air along with signs reading "Shine Your Light for The Brysons."

Several fire trucks with extended ladders added their flashing lights while the crowd gathered to honor Tommy Bryson and his family. Chinese lanterns were also sent into the night sky.

"I knew him real well," said Amy Pierce. "To a lot of us, he was like a father figure, and he was like a grandpa to a lot of us."

Authorities believe Phillip Stroupe II kidnapped and killed Bryson while Stroupe was on the run from authorities last week. Bryson's body was found Sunday night in a cornfield in the Arden area.

"My mom called me late that night, and I was just praying that somebody had him and didn't want to let him go," said Kristi Dean.

The 15 minutes of light helped the community heal as they fondly remembered Bryson.

"I know he has grandchildren, two boys and a wife who are without him. It's really sad," said Dean.

The route for the vigil stretched along Boylston Highway from South Mills River Road to Westfeldt Park.


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