AMERICAN FORK, Utah, Aug. 15, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — The social media army that has grown around Paul Swenson’s family since he went missing on July 27 is now rallying to provide emotional support after remains found were determined to be those of the American Fork man.
The Facebook page Bring Paul Home, formed to spread the word and gather leads about Swenson, 30, had more than 14,750 “likes” Monday morning, has grown by more than 1,000 since the news broke that afternoon that a body found Sunday in Mill Creek is Swenson’s.
A note posted by family members, asking for privacy and prayers, has garnered more than 940 comments, more than 4,900 emoji-type reactions and more than 650 shares in less than 24 hours.
Some of the posters had known Swenson, who was married and the father of a baby girl:
- “Paul was memorable for the very reason that he worked with my husband and was exceptionally kind to him. That was why he stuck out in our memory.”
- “Some of the funniest/fondest memories of high school I have are in English class with Paul. He was always so warm and made everyone smile.”
- “We are so sorry for your loss, Paul was an incredible person who we were lucky enough to meet when he served during his mission here in Brandon Manitoba. Our thoughts are with you all during this incredibly difficult time.”
- “So many memories of Paul from high school. He had an infectious laugh and smile. He will be missed by so many. Sending love, prayers and comfort to your families.”
- “He has always been the most genuine and welcoming friend to all. He is loved and will be missed.”
Other posters were strangers, touched by the family’s hope and loss.
- “I don’t know you, but I have a family of my own and can’t imagine the grief y’all are going through at this time. Prayers and love to your family and I’m so sorry to hear the sad news.”
- “My heart aches and I’m so saddened to hear this news. I have followed Paul’s case from here in Florida and not a day went by that I didn’t pray for each of you and for his safety. I am so sorry for your loss.”
- “I wish I could wrap my arms around you all, I am so incredibly sorry for your loss.”
And others shared spiritual hope.
- “We are praying that you will all feel comfort and peace and that you’ll feel Paul close by always until you are reunited again. Sending all the love we have your way.”
- “My heart breaks for the loss of what was, and what may have been – but also rejoices for what will be, in the fullness of time.”
- “The Lord has Paul wrapped in His arms now. He is at peace.”
In their Monday afternoon post, family members thanked page followers for their encouragement.
“We want to express our deepest gratitude to you as our community. Your support has lifted us.”
Swenson had gone missing after complaining of chest pains and acting oddly, his family said. He left for an appointment in Salt Lake City.
Swenson’s SUV was found the next day near Parkview Elementary, 970 S. Emery St. (about 1150 West), in Salt Lake City.
A major search had been conducted by police and volunteers, and two American Fork detectives were assigned full time to the case.
Swenson’s body was found Sunday afternoon near 135 West and 2950 South, caught up in debris in Mill Creek. On the body, police found tattoos matching Swenson’s and identification with his name.
After an official confirmation from the Medical Examiner’s Office, news of his death was released Monday. His cause of death will be determined through an autopsy, and the investigation into the circumstances of Swenson’s death is ongoing.