Chardon residents have endured so much grief in the loss of teens' lives the past 10 months yet they continue to move forward with hope.
They have been brave and comforted each other at every turn but just how much can one community endure?
The answer? They have shown that they may falter but they will never give up hope. Residents say the events have changed the tight-knit community forever but it has also shown their dogged resilience and their faith in each other to help get them through each day.
On Wednesday night, they learned that there was a missing teen and they responded.
Geauga County Sheriff's Department deputies began the search for Gino Tamburro, 17. He was last seen Tuesday.
He was supposed to walk from his father's mobile home to his mother's mobile home Tuesday at 6 p.m. He never made it and he left behind his wallet, cellphone, and iPod.
The family says there were no problems.
NOON FRIDAY UPDATE: Geauga County Sheriff Dan McClelland said Tamburro's body was just found in a wooded area near the trailer park. The Geauga County Coroner will determine the cause of death.
It was McClelland who spotted the body while inside a helicopter flying over the area.
It was Thursday afternoon when a University Hospitals' helicopter joined the search. When darkness fell Thursday night, the search was suspended until 9:30 a.m. Friday.
And It's almost been a year since a tragedy of unthinkable depth struck Chardon.
It was back on Feb. 27, in the early morning hours, when the quiet Geauga County community mostly known for its annual Geauga County Maple Festival was first thrust into the national spotlight.
That's when a 17-year-old boy named TJ Lane is said to have shot five teens inside the cafeteria at Chardon High School, killing three of them.
Within hours we learned that Daniel Parmertor, 16, had died of gunshot wounds at MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland. Then we heard that student Russell King, Jr., 17, a junior at Auburn Career Center, and Demetrius Hewlin, 16, had also died.
Student Nate Mueller survived having one of the bullets graze his ear. More seriously injured was student Nick Walczak, who is still in a wheelchair.
Both are expected to testify at Lane's trial, which is scheduled to start Jan. 14. Lane, now 18, has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.
This will be a very difficult start to the New Year for Chardon residents. Walczak hopes Lane makes a plea deal so he won't have to testify.
But in showing their true courage and determination to move forward, both Mueller and Walczak are involved with planning how the school and the community will mark the one-year anniversary of that tragic morning.
In a twist of fate, it was learned last month that Adam Nolan, 19, Lane's half-brother, died Nov. 17. According to the Geauga County Sheriff's Department, Nolan, a Chardon resident, was found unresponsive inside a residence in Burton Township.
It's hard enough for parents and grown adults to cope with such tragedies but imagine how hard it must be for the teens in Chardon to handle such an enormous burden.
As we go through the month of December into January, keep the residents of Chardon in your prayers. There but for fate go you and I and the other communities in Northeast Ohio.