As they continue to search for, and pray for the safe return of, Jake Wilson, the La Porte City teens friends, family and teachers are sharing stories about what Jake has brought to their lives.

The community gathered a few weeks ago to pray for Jake’s return, and to decorate the town with blue ribbons. Another gathering, a candlelight vigil, is set for Monday night near Wolf Creek, where Jake, a nature lover, had told his mother he was going to walk to before his disappearance nearly one month ago.

“Our commitment hasn’t wavered, our goal remains to #bringjakehome,” said Black Hawk County Sheriff Tony Thompson, in a Facebook post this morning. “No matter how long, no matter the cost, no matter the effort. We will find and return Jake to each of you. Thanks for the prayers, well wishes, and help…”

Thompson has shared many updates on Jake, thanking volunteers and re-affirming the community’s commitment to finding him.

At Union High School, where Jake is a sophomore, the students have been wearing blue, the gym class had a “Jakey” workout, and teachers are sharing their Jake stories.

“I was lucky enough to teach Jake during his freshman year and the first trimester of his sophomore year,” says Jared Pospisil. “In that time I got to know Jake as a fun, very inquisitive student, one who loved to listen to and write stories.  Jake would get wrapped up in the characters of various novels and short stories, asking questions about them weeks or months after we had finished reading them.”

Jake’s writing is particularly memorable, says the teacher.

“Jake always looked forward to our free-write days in language arts class,” says Popsisil. “I’d set the timer for 15 minutes, and his pencil would start flying in his notebook.  When it came time to share stories, I often found myself leaning forward in my chair in anticipation because Jake’s stories are a  roller coaster, filled with twists and turns, interesting characters, and vibrant imagery. I’ve commented to people that listening to one of Jake’s stories is like reading a Walt Whitman poem: by the end, the audience is exhausted by the sheer volume of detail flying at them, yet thoroughly entertained.”

About the vigil

A candle light vigil for Jake Wilson will take place on Monday, May 7, at Wolf Creek Landing (corner of Main and Tama St) in La Porte City. The public is invited to begin gathering at 8:00 PM with candle lighting taking place at 8:45 PM. If inclement weather people will be directed to go to the American Lutheran Church at 801 Monroe St. in La Porte City.

Pastor Nathan Clements from American Lutheran Church and Amanda Goodman with Family and Children’s Council will be speaking at the vigil.

“The vigil is not an acceptance that Jake is gone but instead a show of support to Jake’s family and friends and a reminder that he is in everyone’s thoughts as the search and investigation continues,” says a post on the LPC PD Facebook page.

There is limited parking at Wolf Creek Landing. Additional parking is available at Union High School or the City parking lot across from the fire station.


There is limited parking at Wolf Creek Landing. Additional parking is available at Union High School or the City parking lot across from the fire station.