Five days after a Havelock woman was reported missing, family members and friends gathered Sunday evening to light candles and hear comforting words.


Five days after a Havelock woman was reported missing, family members and friends gathered Sunday evening to light candles and hear comforting words.



Summer Dawn Swindell, 22, was last seen just after midnight on April 28. Swindell was reportedly seen leaving her Laurel Hill Apartment with an unknown man named “Chad” in a dark-colored SUV. At the time, she indicated she would return in two hours, but hasn’t been heard from since.



About 250 people, including Swindell’s parents, grandparents and other family members, attended Sunday’s event at Havelock City Park. About 100 Walmart employees from area stores also attended the event for Swindell, who is a cashier at the Walmart in Havelock.



“She was supposed to have shown up for work last week and she didn’t show up,” said co-worker Dixie Uhlman. “She had already been reported missing by that time.”



At Sunday’s service, a guestbook sat on a lecture next to framed pictures of Swindell and her two small children. Yellow ribbons were passed out to attendees. Potted flowers had been placed across the front of the stage as attendees gathered on seating while most stood around quietly.



“It is important for this family to know how much they are supported by the community,” said Ray Penwell, a Walmart assistant manager. “It shows a very strong community spirit.”



Kelly Swindell and Barbara Swindell, of New Bern, the missing woman’s parents, attended with other family members. Kelly Swindell found comfort in seeing all those who attended.



“Seeing the community coming together meant a lot to Barbara and me,” the father said. “It was really nice to seeing everybody come together.”



Pastor Jim Kohr, of Freedom Baptist Church, described Summer Swindell as “a very loving, caring, shy young woman.”



Family members said Swindell’s disappearance was unusual and out of character.



“We want the light to come to the darkness because we want this young lady to be found,” Penwell said.



Kohr said the family is in a “storm” right now and hopes only for the same return of Summer.



“It is not for us to speculate about what happened. That’s not helping the situation,” Kohr said.



Kohr thanked the Havelock Police Department for helping investigate the disappearance and said all hold out hope that she will be found.



“I have seen over and over and over again that God can work miracles,” Kohr said.



Swindell’s two children were not at the service. Also absent was her fiancé, who is serving in the military.



Police have said they are treating the case as a circumstance of a missing person and have no indication that anything criminal has taken place.



Swindell is described as 5-foot-2 and 125 pounds with brown hair and hazel eyes. She has a tattoo on her right ankles that says “Wyatt Autumn” with a blue star and pink star.



Anyone with information about Swindell can call Havelock Police Department at 447-3212.