MYRTLE POINT, Ore. (AP) — Twenty-five years after 14-year-old Jeremy Bright disappeared at the Coos County Fair, his family said goodbye Sunday.
'I think I buried my son today," said Diane Beatty, Jeremy's mother.
Family and friends released more than 1,000 balloons in memory of Jeremy at Myrtle Crest Elementary School in Myrtle Point, on the very field he played baseball on.
Beatty remembered Jeremy as always happy and with large feet.
So large, that it was almost impossible to find size 13 track shoes, she said.
When they found a pair in Coos Bay, they raced to get them, only to find they were bright red with yellow flames down the side.
The image of 6-foot, 1-inch Jeremy wearing the shoes sticks in her mind, she said, smiling.
Jeremy had been in town with his younger sister, S'Te, visiting family when he went to pick S'Te up from the fair in August 1986.
He never was heard from again.
When he disappeared, there was no Amber Alert system. Jeremy was just another teenager who would come home when he got around to it, Beatty said.
"We didn't know what to do," she said. "I don't think it really set in for months."
When S'Te Elmore realized her older brother wasn't coming to get her at the fair, she didn't think that meant he would never return.
"It's a struggle. You never want to give up hope," she said.
"Twenty-five years later, we just want answers. Our main goal is to find Jeremy and to lay him to rest. Just to know that he's taken care of."
Now married with nine children, Elmore said she misses her brother and thinks of him all the time and how her children will never know him.
"We talk about him. It's still hard. But they know who he is."
The family hasn't given up hope someone will come forward with information and crack open the cold case.
A detective is still working the case, and Elmore has regular contact with the Coos County Sheriff's Office, she said.
The family is sure Jeremy's body is somewhere in the county.
After 25 years of unanswered questions, it's time to get some, Elmore said.
"My mom deserves to have some answers," she said. "And somebody out there can put an end to that."
Sunday provided a bit of closure, Beatty said, adding now maybe she can move forward and spend more time being a mother and grandmother.
"Maybe I can start my process," she said.
However, she too hasn't given up finding answers, whether those lead to justice or not.
"God will take care of justice for us," Beatty said. 'We want to heal, that's all."
Information from: The World, http://www.theworldlink.com
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.