Family and friends of a Guelph man missing for six weeks are still holding out hope he will be found alive.
But reality is starting set in for the loved ones of Cody Thompson, 24, who hasn't been heard from since April 1.
"He's loved by many and we want his safe return, but as time goes by it's getting more and more difficult," said Cody's aunt Kristine Thompson on Thursday.
"He's a son, he's a grandson, he's a nephew, he's a cousin and as a family you always want to hold out hope. There's always hope. But as time goes on it becomes more and more difficult."
Cody Thompson was last seen in the area of Willow Road and Dawson Road around 2 p.m. on April 1. He hasn't been heard from since.
On Saturday morning friends of Thompson have organized a search that will take place in the area along the Speed River near the boat house just south of downtown Guelph.
That's where a photocopy of his birth certificate was found and it was where Thompson was when he phoned his father on April 1, the last time anyone heard from him.
Anyone looking to help out is asked to meet at the covered bridge at 9 a.m.
"There's a lot of friends and a lot of people in the community that just wanted to help," said Candiss Pettitt, who helped organize Saturday's search.
They expect 50 people at the search.
"We're all to the point where we have a bad feeing because it's been so long and this is so out of character for Cody. But even if we do find him and he's no longer with us, at least the family will have that closure, along with the rest of us," Pettitt said.
Another friend, Moira Barber, said everyone holds out the faint hope that Cody, who battled addiction, has disappeared somewhere and is taking some time to himself. But it's unlikely.
"Everyday we pray to God that's what happened, that he just took off for a while. We hope he just turns up somewhere," Barber said.
Kristine Thompson said the family is very grateful for the efforts of friends who are doing the search, but for emotional reasons she's not sure if any of the family will be attending.
"The family is well aware of the search going on. We appreciate the effort and we appreciate everyone that wants to help, but it's a difficult time for us right now," she said.
"It's very difficult. We're hoping the public understands that it's difficult for us at this time but we are thanking everybody for their assistance."
Cody's aunt said that Guelph Police have searched that area extensively and family have done their own private searches.
"It's very difficult for us to return to some of those area as a family knowing that you could find things you may not want to see and may not want to find," she said.
Cody Thompson lived on Skov Crescent with his father. His mother lives in the Clinton area and he has some friends up there, but nobody has heard from him.
Thompson is described as 5’8”, 130 lbs with brown hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing brown pants and beige work boots.
Police are asking that if anyone has any information about the whereabouts of Thompson to contact Detective constable Scott Biser at 519-824-1212 ext. 7131. Anonymous tips can be left at CRIME STOPPERS 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or submitted online at www.csgw.tips.