Family, friends and strangers alike gathered Tuesday to celebrate the life of Tyler resident Brandon Harward, who was found dead Friday after he went missing in late October.
The candlelight vigil at Arbor Creek Apartments on Shiloh Road provided an opportunity for Harward’s family to thank those who participated in the search effort, prayed for his safe return or just followed the story, his brother, Blake Harward, said in a Facebook post about the event.
Brandon went missing on Oct. 23, his 32nd birthday. At the time, his mother said he was in a breakdown mode.
Tyler police on Tuesday confirmed he was the one found dead Friday in a drainage area near Shiloh Road and Shiloh Village Drive.
Preliminary autopsy results indicated no signs of foul play, according to a Tyler Police Department news release.
Brandon was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, which is an autism spectrum disorder, and also struggled with severe anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and schizophrenia, according to a GoFundMe page created by his brother.
“ He was also one of the most caring people with such good intentions,” Blake Harward wrote in the post.
Brandon moved to Tyler earlier this year to be closer to some of his family, including his mother. He worked for a time at Walmart on Troup Highway.
Brandon’s family is raising money for a memorial and to transport his body back to Utah. Donations can be made at https://www.gofundme.com/brandonharwardmemorial.