Dozens gather at Valley Oak Middle School to remember Demeian Gulley

FRESNO, Calif.

The family was too emotional to speak to Action News. Those who know Demeian Gulley say he was very positive young man and always smiling. Saturday's vigil was organized by teachers and parents, to give the community a way to grieve.

It was an emotional night on the campus of Valley Oak Middle School where a candlelight vigil was held to remember 14-year-old Damiean Gulley, who many knew as Luke.

Students and faculty wrote messages of sorrow and sympathy on a banner along a wall. The messages brought Damiean's family to tears.

"He is a boy when you meet, you would just love him because of the joy he demonstrated and just the happiness he showed all the time," Pastor Mark Wilson said.

Pastor Wilson is helping the Luke family through this difficult time. He says he was there when the FBI told family members Luke's body was found in the Sequoia National Park, news that devastated relatives.

"I know the families very appreciative of the community's concern and their prayerful support," Wilson said.

Dozens of people came in support, giving their condolences to Luke's family hug after hug, prayer after prayer. Pastor Wilson said Damiean had Asperger's, a form of autism, but those who knew him said it was hardly an issue.

"He was great a student, he was very conscientious, well-liked, as long as you were talking about science he was happy to learn," physical science teacher Gabrielle Dawkins said.

"I know he was really friendly, I don't think he ever really got in trouble. He was a really nice kid," classmate Lincoln Lillywhite said

Many say Luke was bullied at school. Pastor Wilson says the family hasn't passed along any stories of bullying, and he doesn't think it would have played an issue.

"I'm not aware of it but I know that Luke had a great love for everyone, that I'm sure he did not allow it to disrupt his disposition of happiness," Wilsonn said

The pastor says the family has not made funeral arrangements, and while there are many questions still unanswered the pastor says he and family members are confident Luke did not run away from home, when he went missing.

If you have any information, you're asked to call Visalia police immediately.

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