JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A group is taking it upon themselves to take up the search for 21-month-old Lonzie Barton.
The group of strangers has started organizing searches. Those volunteers met at Baker Skinner Park on the Southside Friday night to show support for Lonzie and his family.
They held balloons, signs and candles and say they won’t stop until Lonzie comes home. They started with a prayer for peace.
Almost 15 full days since Lonzie disappeared, the unlikely group of volunteers gathered Friday to remember the little boy.
Chaplain Tweek, Roni Ventresca and Tiffany Haynes told Action News they didn’t know Lonzie or his family before this ordeal began.
Haynes is a young mother who, for days, has been making signs and knocking on doors, trying to find Lonzie.
On Friday, she helped organize a candlelight vigil in the park where the search for Lonzie began two weeks earlier, with help from Kelle Casey.
Casey is a mother and grandmother, who said she knows the horror of looking for a missing child. She spent countless hours this week handing out hundreds of fliers and has another 1,400 to go.
“He's out here somewhere. We need to find him, you know? He shouldn't be thrown out like trash,” Casey said.
These volunteers may have been strangers before. But on Friday, they came together with a common purpose. Candles, they say, are a sign that their search for Lonzie isn’t over.
“I will keep searching. I will keep handing out fliers, because I would want the same if it happened to my son,” Haynes said.
The volunteers commended law enforcement for their response. Many of them say they have spoken Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Chief Tom Hackney, and they believe, as he does, that suspect Ruben Ebron holds the key to this case.
Until they know more, they say they will continue to search, starting on the Southside Saturday morning.