More than 100 people gathered Friday night in Portland for a somber vigil for David Breunig of Westbrook, a Maine Maritime Academy student who has been missing for a week.

“It’s definitely devastating, but it’s great to have all of you come out and support us,” said Breunig’s father, who is also named David.

Breunig, 21, disappeared in Orono late on the night of Feb. 26 as he walked to meet friends at a nearby bar.

The crowd on Portland’s Western Promenade huddled in frigid weather Friday night around a table holding pictures of David and a large vase of white carnations. People held candles and flashlights as the Rev. Judy Braun, a friend of the family, spoke about the difficulties of waiting for news.

“We wait together, in a dark place of uncertainty,” Braun said. “Sleep is elusive and food is nauseating. We need – we desperately need – an answer.”

Breunig, who goes by “DJ,” was last seen on North Main Avenue in Orono after leaving friends on Crosby Street about 11:30 p.m. on Feb. 26 on his way to meet other friends in downtown Orono, said Orono Police Chief Josh Ewing. Breunig’s friends said he appeared to be fully functional and capable of caring for himself when he was last seen.

“My boy was way too responsible,” Breunig’s father said earlier. “He was the most responsible one of all of his group of friends. For him to not be where he was supposed to be is a definite red flag. He was a fantastic kid.”

The Maine Warden Service continued to search for Breunig on Friday, primarily around the Penobscot River, with police and wardens operating from land, in boats and in the air. One way to walk to downtown Orono from Crosby Street is to cross a railroad trestle over the Stillwater River, where it meets the Penobscot River.

Breunig’s mother, Elaina, hugged friends and supporters at the vigil Friday night, occasionally wiping away tears.

Breunig and his brother, Derek, 19, both attend Maine Maritime Academy and graduated from Westbrook High School.

At the vigil, the crowd huddled in the cold, at one point singing along to the chorus of Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah.” At the end of the vigil, they played Metallica in DJ’s honor.

“We stand here at the end of the day. Darkness surrounds us. Darkness penetrates this time of waiting,” Braun said.

Later, Braun passed a multicolored shawl into the crowd, asking each person to touch it and add their prayers for DJ to it. When it circled back, Braun draped it over shoulders of the Breunig family as they stood together.

“It’s been so hard. These kids have had a rough year, with the ship,” said Kimberley Talbot, referring to the El Faro, which sank in Hurricane Joaquin on Oct. 1, killing four Maine Maritime Academy graduates from Maine who were among the 33 crew members.

Talbot is the mother of Maine Maritime Academy freshman Jordan Talbot, who is a friend of Derek Breunig.

“You just want to know. I check my Twitter account every 15 minutes,” she said. “You want to know something, but you don’t.”

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