They came to look for Cody on Saturday.
Friends, family, complete strangers: all clinging to faint hope that the missing Guelph man will somehow turn up some day, somewhere, unharmed. But also starting to realize that may not happen.
"Hope starts to turn into reality I think," said Brock Hemming, the brother of missing Cody Thompson just before Saturday's search of the river banks started.
Then, perhaps sounding a little more ominous than he intended, he added "I was hoping the river would have been a little lower."
Cody Thompson, 24, was last heard from on April 1, phoning his dad from the area of the covered bridge just south of downtown Guelph. Part of a photocopy of his birth certificate has also been found in that area.
Thompson, who battled addiction issues, hasn't been seen or heard from since. His bank account untouched, his cell phone unused, his methadone doses missed.
"That's the worst part. The not knowing," said Cody's other brother Brandon. "The longer it goes the harder it is on the family. Just wondering, that's the hardest part."
Roughly 30 people turned up on a cold and rainy Saturday to scour the area, a spot already thoroughly searched by police.
But they couldn't sit at home waiting and wondering any longer. They had to do something. They had to try and get some closure, for the family and for themselves.
"Either they show up, or they don't. And we're looking to do whatever we can to bring him home, one way or the other," said Moira Barber.
"Just because Cody was an addict and he had problems does not mean his life is worth any less than that of a normal person," Barber said.
"He is a human being, first off. It doesn't matter if he has an addiction. He deserves the same treatment and attention that anyone else would get and we're just making sure that happens for him," Barber said.
Not all those that turned out Saturday were part of Thompson's circle of friends and family.
Kirkland Moore was there to lend his first aid and search and rescue training.
"It's a chance to help out and a chance to help families get closure," said Moore, who did not know Cody but wanted to lend his training in search and rescue to the effort.
"I don't know Cody personally, but he's somebody's child," said Kelly Timbers. "I'm a mother. I know how much it's hurting his parents not to have their baby with them."
Cody is a fun loving guy who would do "anything for anybody," said Candiss Pettitt.
"He loved being around people and loved making everybody laugh," Pettitt said.
Organizers said more searches will be held in other parts of town on weekends until Thompson is found.
"We will not stop until we find him or find something that's crucial enough for the family to be able to have closure. That's what our main goal is, to give the family the closure that they need," Pettitt said.
"We will not rest until he is home."