MALIBU (CBSLA) — Friends and family of a Simi Valley man who went missing a year ago today, held an emotional vigil for him.
Matthew Weaver, 21, was last seen hiking up a Malibu trail.
CBS2/KCAL9’s Laurie Perez spoke to friends and family about the difficult year they’ve had without him.
Weaver’s loved ones made a slow and quiet hike in the same location he was last seen — a spot about 20 minutes up a remote trail.
Part of the reason to walk the trail was to honor him, the other to keep attention on their continuing search.
His family told Perez that retracing his steps was agonizing but necessary. The beautiful spot for them will never be the same — it will always be marred by a heartbreaking mystery.
“Yeah, oh yeah, I hate this place, yeah it’s hard, it’s hard every time and every time I get out here to search I get very overwhelmed,” says Weaver’s stepmom, Brooke Tipton.
Investigations through and on social media tell the family that Weaver made it to Rosa Overlook on the morning of August 10, 2018.
Later that night, a witness called 911 after hearing someone in the area yelling for help. First responders didn’t find anyone calling out. But they did find Weaver’s gray BMW.
His family has never stopped looking for him.
“I’ve been crying, every single day, I cry. There’s nothing else to do, you just whether it be looking at the drone photos, coming our here searching, hosting searching groups, something it’s just always trying to bring up awareness,” says Weaver’s sister Colleen Weaver-Ferrall.
In January, Weaver’s family set up a website with more than 700 pictures and drone videos of the rugged terrain asking for the public’s help to find him. It led them to finding his baseball cap. Hikers found his car keys earlier this year. His dad found shards of a t-shirt here that he thinks belonged to his son.
Clues but not a complete answer.
Tonight, as his friends and family held signs with his picture, they said they’re still holding on to hope, though the reality is what they are hoping for has changed.
“We know that he’s probably never coming home you know but at this point our family needs closure,” says Tipton.
“His family needs him, we want to know what happened to him. Just please bring him home,” says his dad, Matthew Sr.
The family reminds there is a still a $50,000 reward for information that leads to Weaver’s whereabouts.