GLENBURN, Maine — Despite rain that fell heavily at times, an estimated 300 people took part in a balloon launch Friday evening in memory of 15-year-old Nichole Cable of Glenburn, whose body was found Monday, more than a week after she went missing.
Also on Friday, funeral arrangements for the Old Town High School sophomore were announced.
The balloon launch is one several events being held to help the family and the community come to terms with their loss.
Police have charged 20-year-old Kyle Dube of Orono with knowing and intentional murder in connection with Cable’s death on May 12. Hundreds of volunteers and law enforcement personnel searched for Cable for more than a week before her body was found in a wooded area of Old Town on Monday night.
“We’re seeing a lot of people show up out here tonight and we want to tell everybody here that we greatly appreciate this very, very much. We can’t tell the community how much this means to us, to see this much support coming out for Nichole,” Jason Wiley, the slain teen’s stepfather, said shortly before hundreds of balloons were released, briefly coloring the sky yellow.
“We just want everybody to know that we’re not going to let Nichole’s name go out silently,” Wiley said. “We’re going to speak very loudly for Nichole and we want to make sure there’s a legacy left behind.”
Wiley said he also wanted to thank the roughly 500 people who took to the roadsides, bogs and woods Sunday in an effort to find Cable. “We thanked as many volunteers as we could reach,” he said.
Pastor Jack Dowling of Glenburn Covenant Church, who has been assisting Cable’s family, said the community’s response to the tragedy sends a message that “there’s hope for a better tomorrow and love for one another, love for Nichole expressed through this, as these balloons went up heavenward.
“It gives us strength as a community,” he said. “It certainly gives strength and encouragement to Nichole’s family that even on a rainy day like this, they came out to show their love and support for those of us left behind.”
Dowling and his wife, Becca, have served in disaster areas in the U.S. and other parts of the world as members of the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team.
“We see this happen. In the midst of tragedy, you see good come out of it and this is part of the good that you see, as people and communities coming together and churches coming together and families getting stronger,” he said. “Friendships increasing. This is just part of the indication of the healing that’s taking place. We’re a community standing together.”
Now a cheering coach at Old Town High School, Nicole Hogan was Cable’s cheering coach while she attended Old Town Middle School in 2010. She also was among those gathered in Glenburn.
“You definitely don’t coach for the money,” she said. “You coach for the kids and you love them all. You just love all the kids.”
Cable, she said, was no exception.
“She always made you smile. She was a really good kid. I found a picture of her today. She’s got her face right up to the camera. So silly, just loving life,” Hogan said.
Dorothea and Norris Munson of Glenburn also participated in the balloon launch.
“They are very close friends of ours,” Dorothea Munson said of Wiley and his family. “They live on the same road as my daughter does,” she said, as she and her husband clutched five Mylar balloons.
Participants in Friday’s tribute were encouraged to bring yellow balloons to release because yellow was Cable’s favorite color, Holly Michaud, one of the event’s organizers, said Friday afternoon.
Michaud said Thursday that the balloon release was originally planned as an effort to bring Nichole home after she went missing. After police found Cable’s body, she planned to call the event off, but Cable’s family and friends encouraged her to go ahead.
Visiting hours for Cable are scheduled for 5-8 p.m. Sunday at Birmingham Funeral Home at 438 Main St. in Old Town. A funeral service will be conducted at 11 a.m. Monday at Bangor Baptist Church at 1476 Broadway in Bangor.
Cable is survived by her mother, Kristine Wiley, stepfather Jason Wiley, father David Cable, brother David Cable Jr., sisters Annabelle Grace Wiley, Emma Jean Wiley and Julia Jane Wiley, as well as her grandparents and step-grandparents and several aunts and uncles, according to her obituary.
Several memorial funds have been established to benefit victims and create awareness of violent crimes, according to Cable’s obituary. Donations may be made at People’s Heritage Bank or Camden National Bank.