Music student uses CD release to keep missing teen on people's minds
RICHLAND COUNTY, SC (WIS) -
It's been five months since 15-year-old Gabrielle Swainson disappeared. Since then, search efforts have spanned far and wide, but there has been no sign of the teen.
Tyne Freeman knew Swainson through a music school. She said it really affected her when Gabbiee went missing.
Freeman wants to use her creative talents to keep Gabbiee on the forefront of people's minds as well as the thousands of missing and exploited children.
"I just think it's really important to keep hope for finding Gabbiee alive," said Freeman. "So, I just want to keep spreading the word and keep looking and keep remembering and keep praying for her."
Friday, Freeman performed seven songs from her self-written album at Richland District 2 auditorium. Monique Coleman from High School Musical gave the welcome address.
"The situation is just devastating," said Freeman. "It's very sad. But I think it's just important to not lose hope in the fact that she might still come home."
Proceeds from the concert benefit the Center for Missing and Exploited Children and will help raise the reward for Gabbiee's case.
"The Gabbiee situation always resonated with me as soon as I heard about it," she said. "It just struck a chord and I wanted to make it a charity album."
"The horror of having a missing child is unbelievable," said volunteer Debbie Gee. "So I think anything we can do to help families gain closure and work to find these children is an important job."
A tribute to Gabbiee played during the concert, where the audience got a glimpse into Gabbiee's younger years and her personality.
"I think it is important to keep people aware of things that are happening with children like her," said Gee. "To keep people aware that we need to do our part to keep everybody safe."
The Richland County Sheriff's Department eventually plans to charge Freddie Grant with kidnapping involving Gabbiee's disappearance, but deputies are waiting for sentencing on his federal weapons conviction.