LA PORTE CITY, IA (KCRG-TV9)-- There were smiles. There were tears. La Porte City gathered to remember Jake Wilson, today. The town came together for the16-year old’s funeral Sunday afternoon.
Wilson has a form of autism. He went missing April 7th. Wilson told his family he was going for a walk near Wolf Creek.
It was August when kayakers finally spotted Wilson's remains near the creek where he had headed. Investigators are still working to determine how Wilson died.
The service at Union High School was somber, but also uplifting at times. People were sad that this was their final goodbye to Jake Wilson, but it was also a celebration of his life.
People at the service talked about his love of the outdoors and country music. La Porte City Police Chief Chris Brecher says it's a day he hoped would never come.
He says, "You'd hope you'd find some scared kid that's just a bit lost, and unfortunately that didn't happen. Nobody wanted it to get to this point."
Alexis Buss was Wilson's cousin. She liked how the service highlighted Wilson's love for like country music, and the outdoors.
She says, "He was always smiling. Every picture you see from when he was little, to when he was grown, just always this big grin, this big smile on his face. "
It was still a day the family feared. They never gave up hope during the search. Wilson’s grandma Laura Richter says, "It's not the outcome. The only thing that's good about it is we know where he is. That is the scariest thing about it is that we would never know."
Richter says their strong faith has been their guiding light. She adds. "Our Christian beliefs get us through”
People came from all over to help search for Wilson. Hundreds of volunteers and multiple law agencies. The family says they will be forever grateful to them.
Buss says, "It's a testament to how many people loved Jake, and how his memories will carry on with all the rest of them, and us forever."