Joleen Cummings: Mother, friends gather at vigil for missing Nassau woman

Community mourns missing mother believed to be dead

NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. — On Tuesday night family and friends gathered at Journey Church in Fernandina Beach to honor Joleen Cummings.

“Take my sad and aching heart and comfort me, or bring her home to my family, so we can have closure,” said Anne Johnson, Cummings' mother.

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Friends and family are heartbroken after hearing the words they feared.

“The news today from Sheriff Leeper was a little devastating but we can’t say we didn’t see if coming after 10 days of her being missing,” said Mariah Lorraine, one of Cummings' close friends.

Investigators said evidence indicates Joleen Cummings is likely not alive. On Tuesday, Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper named Cummings' co-worker Kimberly Kessler a suspect in her disappearance.

Deputies said they arrested Kessler on Wednesday May 16 at a St. Johns County rest stop. She's charged with grand theft, after investigators said she ditched Cummings' SUV at a Yulee Home Depot.

“And we just want some closure in a situation like this. You look everywhere for her. You’re at the store and you think you see her, and you just never know,” said Lorraine.

Johnson said she is leaning on her faith more than ever as hundreds of people in the community and the sheriff circled around the family, praying for comfort, surrounded by lit candles.

“I want her to be free to be at home with you,” said Johnson.

Cummings' close friends told Action News Jax they never heard of Kessler.

WATCH: Anne Johnson, mother of missing Nassau County mom Joleen Cummings, pleads for help locating her daughter: More info on Joleen Cummings: https://bit.ly/2GKBoow Details on suspect Kimberly Kessler: https://bit.ly/2x4w4wC

Posted by Action News Jax on Tuesday, May 22, 2018