John Repsold remembers Heather Higgins for her personality and for her love of God.
She wasn’t shy about her faith. When the Deer Park native and Spokane resident arrived at his church, the Mosaic Fellowship, she didn’t stick to the back.
She sat in the front row, the pastor recalled, and when she sang, she stood up and did so with all her heart.
But Higgins hasn’t been seen at the downtown Spokane church in more than a year. Spokane police continue to investigate her disappearance as a missing person case and urge anyone with information to come forward.
Higgins’ case almost leaves Repsold at a loss for words, the pastor told a crowd of about 100 who gathered Tuesday to mark the one-year anniversary of her disappearance.
But the anchor that ties everyone together is the fact that wherever Higgins is, be it in Heaven or still on Earth, she is with God, Repsold said.
“Nothing can separate Heather from God,” Repsold said.
Repsold joined Higgins’ family, friends and other community members at the Trinity Baptist Church in north Spokane, where they prayed for Higgins and her family, as well as law enforcement tasked with finding out what happened to her. They also prayed for witnesses who may know something to come forward.
Supporters each lit a candle for the missing woman in a nighttime ceremony on the lawn outside the church. Buttons commemorating Higgins were available, and donations are being accepted to build a reward fund for information on her disappearance.
Higgins, whose 40th birthday was in April, was last seen Sept. 20, 2010, near an apartment complex at West 10th Avenue and South Cherry Street, where she had lived for 10 years. Her apartment was undisturbed, and her cellphone and bank account haven’t been accessed since the day she went missing her mother, Jackie Forney, said.
Spokane police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer DeRuwe said Tuesday that the investigation into Higgins’ disappearance is active but that new information “is very scarce.”
Forney said she’s found strength through the “Earth angels” who have helped her cope with her daughter’s disappearance. She said she continues to hope that Higgins will be found alive.
“The way I see it, with no body, there’s hope,” she said.