ENNIS, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – The Chili’s where Emily Wade waited tables was closed Thursday night so her co-workers could attend a vigil in her honor.
People held lanterns and said prayers in Wade’s memory.
Emily’s family held the event to say, “thank you” to the people of Ennis.
“That’s why we are here, to honor this community for honoring us and for honoring her,” said Emily’s brother Chad Wade.
Complete strangers volunteered their time to search for Emily since her January 5 disappearance.
Arriving every day with horses, ATVs, food and water.
“And a couple nights, I got really…i about lost it. Got really down, but the community helped to bring me together because I’ve seen their compassion,” said Chad.
‘”How hard it is to pick up a tarp or look under a bag and be like, ‘Are we going to find her?’ I mean that part was just anguish,” said another relative Gracie Smith Wade.
Her family believes she was in the area visiting a friend, got lost and swept away by water.
“Emily was a strong swimmer. I believe that she fought to the very end to save her own life,” said Gracie.
Her family says officials are looking at adding better signage near the creek.
Emily will be buried in Kentucky where she is originally from.