By Dyna Folkersen
EPHRAIM— After a press conference Sunday afternoon that stated that missing Snow College student, Madelyn Allen, had been found alive, a crowd of approximately 50 people joined members of the Allen family in a “candlelight vigil of gratitude” for the formerly missing student later that evening.
Snow College President, Brad Cook, opened the vigil with a 60 second moment of silence, where attendees were asked to not only extend their gratitude that Allen had been found, but to think of somebody on a more personal level who may be going through a difficult time this Christmas season.
After the moment of silence, singer and friend to Allen, Abby Huff, sang “Amazing Grace.”
Huff, who is the daughter of Snow College choral department director Michael Huff, expressed gratitude that Maddie had been found and described Maddie as being part of their choir family.
“Those who sing in an a cappella choir are family,” Abby said. “A member of our family was missing.”
“We’re just so grateful she had been found,” Abby said.
Grandfather Rex Allen then addressed the crowd. He stated that the Allen Family will always be a part of the Badger Family and was even adorned with a bright orange Snow College hat.
“With the odds highly against us, to receive this kind of outcome, we are extremely grateful,” Rex said.
He stated that the family had received blessings of prayer, fasting and goodwill not only from residents of the State of Utah but from people from as far away as Europe and China.
After another song from Abby— “Have Yourself a Merry Christmas”—Rex closed the candlelight service by asking the crowd to join him in singing the hymn “Silent Night.”
Madelyn Allen, after five days of being missing, was found in a basement in Loa, approximately 90 miles south of Ephraim, where Brent Brown, 39, was holding her against her will in his coal room. Brown is facing charges of obstruction of justice, rape, object rape and kidnapping through the 6th District Court and is expected to be in court by the time of press.