What was planned as a candlelight vigil to spur on the search for a young Sacramento musician who vanished more than a week ago turned into a memorial Tuesday night.
Family and friends gathered in Sacramento’s Miller Park shortly before sunset to remember 28-year-old Broughty Cole, whose body had been recovered from the river a few hours earlier.
More than 100 people holding candles formed a circle on the grassy hillside overlooking the river. Many had spent days searching for Cole, who had been missing since March 3.
The searchers found Cole’s locked car Saturday along the river near Broadway and Marina View Drive. However, they didn’t find a wallet, cellphone or keys.
With the assistance of the Yolo County sheriff’s marine unit and the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, Sacramento police detectives coordinated a search Tuesday morning for Cole. His body was discovered shortly before noon.
Cole, a drummer in the group Lasher Keen, had planned to travel from his Sacramento home to a gig in Nevada City the night of March 3. He was last heard from by phone about 6:30 p.m. that day. He did not show up in Nevada City, nor for an event the following day in San Francisco.
Christine Cole, Broughty’s mother, said the lack of contact was out of character for her son. Since his disappearance, family and friends had searched by car, on foot and by kayak along the Sacramento River.
“Then, we absolutely knew something was wrong and we filed a missing person’s report with the Sacramento Police Department,” said his mother, who flew from her home in Arizona to search along with Broughty’s siblings.
The discovery of the car focused the search along the river. Posters of the curly-haired musician were taped to trees and pasted to utility poles, store windows and freeway underpass pillars.
Tuesday night, Christine Cole thanked all those who aided in the search and who came to the vigil to support the family.
“The gift of this experience is the love that connects us all ... that’s the greatest lesson,” she said. “I hope you find a similar blessing in this.”
Many who came knew Christine Cole and her family from the years she owned the Cosmic Cafe, a popular venue for musicians on Placerville’s Main Street.
Nancy McColl said her daughter was a friend of Broughty Cole. “They all grew up in Placerville,” she said. “It’s a very tight-knit community.” The Cosmic Cafe, McColl said, “was the place to hang out.”
Daniel Moyer of Placerville said he had seen Broughty and Broughty’s older brother, Kalan Sorion, perform with their band at the Cosmic Cafe. “It was good,” he said. “It’s not easy to categorize. It was pretty high-powered stuff.”
Sorion said he and his brother played together for about eight years, until 2012. When he thinks of his brother, Sorion said, the words “theatrical, intuitive, ingenious and sincere” come to mind.
Joel Barrera of Sacramento said he followed Cole and his band, and he described Cole as someone who would go out of his way to help people.
Christine Cole said that when she spoke with her son recently he seemed in a good mood. Inside his car, a receipt dated the day of his disappearance was found. The receipt was from the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op for $100 of nutritional supplements, hardly a purchase of someone who was considering taking his life, his mother said.
A coroner’s autopsy will determine how Broughty Cole died. However, Sacramento police spokesman Officer Doug Morse said that so far in the investigation, there is nothing suspicious about the condition of the body.