GERALDINE, Ala. -- Friday morning a slew of purple and white balloons went into the air above Geraldine High School, where 18-year-old Koy Spears had attended. The classmates of the teen who had been missing for weeks wanted to remember and celebrate their friend's life.
Three weeks ago was the last time anyone saw Koy Spears alive.
He was in a Jeep with two teens on a rainy Friday night when the teens said it got swept into the flooded South Sauty Creek at Buck's Pocket State Park. The teens were rescued. Koy and the Jeep were missing. A search started that night and ended this week, when fishermen found his body not far from where crews had been searching in the dangerous water conditions.
Friday morning, donning purple caps and gowns, students at Geraldine High School formed a circle in front of their school. It was senior picture day, a milestone for the young adults looking to the next step of life. They wanted to remember their friend and classmate who would never have another milestone.
"Our senior class wanted to get together and have a memorial for our fellow classmate Koy Spears," said Senior Reagen Richards, "The balloon release was just a great way for us to all come together and show our love and respect for him."
"Koy was just the type of person who made everyone smile," added fellow Senior Cassie Black, "Koy didn't belong to one group, he belonged to every group. Koy was very intelligent, he was loving, he was funny. He just made everybody feel like somebody."
That's what the Class of 2019 remembers.
On the count of three, each one released a purple or white balloon in the air. Koy's family joined in. Then, it was quiet. Students hugged each other. Others watched the balloons drift away into the blue sky. Some put their heads down.
"I hope that we can just learn that we can all come together, and Koy, he just loved everyone. If we all could love like Koy did, then this world would be a better place," Black said.
The students finished by singing their Alma Mater.
Then, they sang Amazing Grace.
Visitation only for Koy will be held from 4-8 p.m. on Sunday, March 17 from the W.T. Wilson Funeral Chapel in Rainsville.