Friends, family hold candlelight vigil for missing Jackson County man

Friends, family hold candlelight vigil for missing Jackson County man
Mark Bakotic Jr. was last seen on Dec. 16, 2016 in New Orleans. (Photo source: Submitted)

HURLEY, MS (WLOX) - After three months of searching for a missing Jackson County man, his friends and family are not giving up in their search efforts. On Friday, they gathered in Hurley's Lum Cumbest Park to pray for the safe return of Marc Bakotic Jr.

A lifelong native of Hurley, Marc moved to the Bywater neighborhood of New Orleans just three months before he went missing Dec. 16, 2016. Friends who were with him that night told his dad, Marc Bakotic Sr., that they last saw him around 3:30 that morning in the Warehouse District after a night out at the Republic Night Club.

Mark's dad says he refuses to quit searching until he gets answers about his son's disappearance.

"If anyone sees my son, tell my son I love him," said Bakotic Sr.

Bakotic Sr. says his son was following his dreams when he moved to the Big Easy.

"In September or October, he decided he wanted to go and pursue his dream of creating EDM music in an environment that's more popular  for that type of scene," said Bakotic Sr. "He moved to New Orleans at that time. It's been three months, and he's really missed by myself, family and friends."

Some of those friends and family came to the candlelight prayer vigil Friday night to show their support. The vigil was also a fundraiser for the family to assist them in their search.

Marc's high school friend Ashleigh Jones, who helped organize the event, says this kind of support is the kind of thing their small community is known for.

"This community always bands together and shows support for whoever needs it during any time," said Jones.
Jones remembers Bakotic, Jr. as a social butterfly.

"In school, he was always uplifting and funny," she said.

Marc's dad says he has spent 35 to 40 days just walking around New Orleans, showing his son's picture in the hopes that someone will recognize him. Bakotic Sr. says Marc has not returned to his car or apartment since the last night he was seen. His last paycheck was never picked up either.

Mark Bakotic Jr. is described as 6'4" and 185 pounds. A reward is being offered for any information leading to his whereabouts by both Marc's family and Crimestoppers. 

If you know anything about where Bakotic, Jr. might be, you can call and leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers at 504-822-1111.

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