LORAIN -- Many were saying goodbye, as they are trying to heal from a tragic loss in the community. The body of Aaron Zimmerman, 26, was found on Thursday, and people who knew and loved him gathered to remember him. The man, who suffered from mental illness, had been missing since November of 2014.
People gathered at Day's Dam in Lorain. Rhonda Kay Zimmerman, Aaron's mother, tells Fox 8 she has been forever grateful for the support for her and her son.
"I know that I'm loved and have friends and people that love my son, never even knew him and loved him," Zimmerman said.
Aaron was described on Saturday as a kind man with a good heart.
At the vigil people lit candles, and released a dove in his honor.
"You get him to smile, he'll light up the room, he'll just smile and make your bad day good just by smiling," said Tony Zayas, a friend.
"He loved to travel, we always traveled together. He loved church, he was just a good well-mannered child, young man," Aaron's mother said.
"I am at peace, God has given me the strength to do this, He has given me peace, He has given me joy."
It has been a long road for Zimmerman's mother.
She had been looking for her son, who had schizophrenia, for months. The family feared for not only his life, but the fact he was also without his medication.
On March 19th, authorities believe the body of Zimmerman was found in Lorain County. A hiker discovered the man in a wooded area.
"He just loved walking, he loved it. He loved hiking, that was Aaron, yeah," Zimmerman said.
The main reason the group gathered here at Day's Dam on Saturday is this was one of Aaron's favorite spots.
His family tells Fox 8 he used to walk in the area because it was calm, and peaceful.
Donations can be made to the family at any First Merit bank location to help with funeral expenses.