Community gathers for vigil honoring Keith Aumavae, who remains missing
Inside the Palmer High School library Thursday night was a small crowd, united in prayer, but still separated from their brother, son, and friend Keith Aumavae, who went missing in October.
"Every time we’re sleeping, we’re just thinking, 'It’s cold outside,'" said Rachel Aumavae, one of Keith's 12 siblings. "Our brother is out there."
If the books lining the library's many shelves could talk, they might tell us more about the 30-year-old Aumavae, who graduated from Palmer High School in 2005.
But on Thursday night, it was up to the people in the room to tell his story.
"We know the struggle. We live the struggle," said Rachel Aumavae, one of Keith's sisters. "My brother… he didn't have much. But if he saw you were hungry, he'd give you his food, the shirt off his back. He'd make it a point to make sure you were okay."
Friends and family of Aumavae, as well as various community members, all gathered in the high school library to share their memories of Keith, pray for his safe return, and try to get in touch with him, too.
"If you hear this, please come home," said Keith's mother, Enike Onesemo. "We love you. We [will] never give up until you come home."
All they want, she said, is for Keith to come back.
"Keith, if you're out there," said Elizabeth Aumavae, another of Keith's sisters, "and anyone that's listening, that has info or has seen vehicles or anything, please contact us. We need our brother home."
Another search has been scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 11 at 10 a.m. The search will begin at Jim Creek, which is located in the Valley.
The Aumavae family is also still offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to Keith, who has black hair and brown eyes, is approximately 5 feet, 7 inches tall, and weighs about 380 pounds. He was last seen in Palmer, reportedly on Oct. 19.
His car is a sky blue 2001 Chrysler Sebring with Alaska license plate KAG300. You can call Alaska State Troopers or (907) 290-5668 to submit an anonymous tip.