“This is what community is.” Locals hold vigil for missing woman

The community held a candle-lit vigil to raise awareness about a missing woman.
Published: Dec. 20, 2022 at 1:25 AM EST
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - The search for Gretchen Fleming continues.

She was last seen the night of December 3rd and early morning of December 4th at My Way Lounge.

On Monday night, the community gathered to spread awareness about the case through a candle-lit vigil at Parkersburg City Park.

In the dark, in the cold, just days before Christmas, the community united with one goal in mind - bringing Gretchen Fleming home.

Parkersburg Police Chief Matthew Board was one of the speakers.

“I want everyone to look to your left and look to your right. This is what community is,” he said.

Fleming turns 28 on Christmas Eve. Pastor Dwight Brohard, who spoke at the vigil, prayed for a miracle - that she’s home for her birthday.

“God, we’re just thinking about so many ways and opportunities, father that you have shared with us that miracles do happen and God we are asking for a miracle now,” he prayed.

Both family and friends spoke, thanking the community for their support.

Jake Grim, friend from high school who organized the vigil, said Fleming has a presence you can’t forget.

“I just thought she was so cool and then one day it happened. She just talked to me and I was in the hallway and I thought ‘Gretchen Fleming’s talking to me? She’s so cool,’” he remembered.

Another friend, Megan McFee, read a personal letter for Fleming.

“I just want to speak to Gretchen. Thinking about you this week has brought back so many great memories from being a teenager. You taught me so many cool things but the most important thing was how to be myself,” she said.

Board assured the community that law enforcement is working hard on the case.

“There are so many behind the scenes at the Parkersburg police department that have really just…essentially not went home since we found out Gretchen wasn’t home,” he said.

Board encourages anyone with any information to reach out.

“If you hear anything, if you see anything, if you have a recollection, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Because what might seem minor to you all, might be what we need to help bring Gretchen home,” he said.

Gretchen is about 5 feet tall and weighs 100 pounds.

If you have any information, contact Detective Zimmerman at 304-424-1072. If you’re reaching out after hours, call 304-424-8444.