Missing teen honored at Friday’s football game

Published: Sep. 1, 2012 at 2:54 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 9, 2013 at 3:14 PM EDT
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At Ridge View's home game Friday the school made sure Gabbiee Swainson was a part of it.

One of the cheerleading squads had their own special way of honoring Gabbiee.

"Join us now for a moment of silence as we wish Gabbiee a safe and happy return to her family," said the announcer.

"They are just that, a very tight-knit family unit," said Gabbiee's cheerleading coach, Morgan Daniels. "So, it's hard when one of them is missing."

Ridge View High School Varsity cheerleaders took to the field Friday night with Gabbiee Swainson on their minds.

"All of the cheerleaders have a yellow ribbon and the yellow ribbon is traditional of troops at war to bring them home safely so that was our way of staying positive and us believing she's out there and continued positive attitudes and prayers and thoughts that eventually we will be able to bring her home safely," said Daniels.

Daniels says she and the team are still in disbelief.

"She's the kind of child where there's just no doubt - there was no doubt in my mind or my coaching staff that Gabbiee would have left on her own," Daniels added.

Gabbiee just joined the JV squad in May.

Daniels says she's had to cancel that team's practices because there are too many unanswered questions.

"There are just certain things right now they want to know and obviously they don't understand that we don't know," said Daniels.

Many paid tribute to the missing teen with yellow ribbons and yellow G's on their signs.

Parents also handed out ribbons.

"We want to show support for her family and we're praying for her," said Ridge View parent, Rita Halverson.

As Rita Halverson and other Ridge View parents pin on the purple and yellow ribbons they say Gabbiee's disappearance hits too close to home.

"It tugged at my heart and I don't cry very often but it really does choke me up," said Halverson. "I'm a parent of a 16-year-old, so if I ever had that happen to my son, I wouldn't know what to do. I'd be devastated."

It's been difficult for everyone at Ridge View, especially the cheerleaders who don't know where their "sister" is.

"I think the mystery behind it all is what scares them the most, not knowing," said Daniels. "Anytime one of ours is missing, it's definitely going to be noticed."

When students return back to school from the Labor Day holiday, it's "Gabbiee Week" at Ridge View.

Each day next week has a theme that represents some of Gabbiee's favorite things such as "Blue Day", "Plaid Day", "Bling Day" and "Bow Tie Day".

Copyright 2012 WIS. All rights reserved.