Dozens of people braved the chilly South Florida air Wednesday night to gather at a candlelight vigil for a missing man — 21-year-old Che Beckford.
Che told his mother on Friday afternoon that he was on his way to get tires put on her car.
But he never made it from his Pembroke Pines home to the auto repair shop in Davie. And no one has seen or heard from him since.
For his mother, Charmaine, not knowing what happened to her only son is “hell.”
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“If Che can’t be warm, why should I be warm?” she said. “If Che can’t eat, why should I eat? Why I should have anything? That’s my son.”
Charmaine leaned on her twin sister Cheryl for support while listening to pastors and singers perform. But she said it was the prayers and outpouring of the entire community that was lifting her up as Pembroke Pines Police continue their search for her son — a missing Nova Southeastern University student.
“I’ve seen so many people — people I haven’t seen in so long,” she said. “There’s a lot of love left in America.”
Charmaine said last Friday began like a regular day. Her son took her to work and headed back home to get ready for his class at Nova Southeastern University. She said a neighbor saw him back home and walking his dog at 12:30 pm. Charmaine spoke to him at 1:57 pm. That’s when he said he was headed to the auto store for tires.
Che’s father, John, told the crowd Wednesday night that the ordeal is “one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to face.”
“He’s out there somewhere and we’re gonna find him,” he said. “The outpouring from this community warms my heart.”
Che is described as a loving son, dedicated student and disciplined athlete. His family said he doted on his dogs and would never leave them for such a long period of time.
Che left his cell phone, wallet and credit cards at home. His mother said there was no reason for him to take off.
His father said he’s been searching plazas, malls, streets and the back of warehouses. He is asking everyone to look closely for the car Che was last seen driving — a 2009 silver Nissan Sentra with license plate W827DG. The car has a Nova Southeastern University sticker on a window and side view mirrors that are different colors.
Che’s mother is lost in grief and worry.
“If somebody has him just give him back,” she said. “I don’t know what more to do. We’ve all done so much and nothing.”
If you have any information on Che Beckford’s whereabouts, call the Pembroke Pines Police Department at 954 252-4999.