Sumter family still has hope after son's disappearance

SUMTER COUNTY, SC (WIS) - The family of a Sumter college student who disappeared a year ago said they are still holding out hope that he is alive.

The family held a vigil for teenager Brandon Graves Saturday in hopes of breathing life into the cold case. "We have sorrow in our heart, but we have not given up hope," said a speaker at the event.

A year after his disappearance, Sumter police said their investigation has led them to a dead end. They're still unable to determine exactly what happened to Brandon Graves.

Family and friends also in the dark held a candlelight vigil in his honor hoping that someone holding the missing piece to this devastating puzzle would come forward.

"We trust in God that somebody will tell something that took place that night so we can get closure," said Grave's mother Martha German, "I just don't know what happened."

At this point, there are more questions than answers, but what officials do know is Graves was last seen at The Sebastian's Night Club in Sumter January 30th of last year. It was where he was denied access by a bouncer. Authorities said they believe some kind of criminal activity was involved, but they admitted they have no physical evidence to support the theory.

Meanwhile family and friends who sat hand in hand, leaning on each other for support, said every minute of every day they're waiting for a miracle. "I was praying that the door would swing open, and he would say 'Ma, I'm here, I'm here.' Not today but maybe tomorrow," said German.

The Graves family said their church is offering a $1,500 reward for information leading to Graves' whereabouts. If you know something that can help police, you're asked to call Crimestoppers.

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