Family and friends gather at Ole Miss to spread hope that missing student Jay Lee will come home

OXFORD, Miss. (WCBI) – Wednesday evening, friends, family, and many others held a rally for still missing student Jay Lee on the Ole Miss campus. 

The message to Lee’s family was simple: 

“Jay is still here and we’re just waiting for him to come home,” says classmate Precious Thompson, who recited a prayer during the event. 

Concerned members of the Oxford community gathered together at the Circle on the Ole Miss campus to lift up the family of the 20-year-old social work major, who has not been seen since July 8th. 

“Just wondering and waiting to hear good news,” Thompson says. “We just wanted to do something to show the family how much we care and how much we’re awaiting his arrival home.” 

The students in the Social Work Department organized the “Hope for Jay” rally, several of whom have taken classes with him.

“He was always trying to do what he could for the community,” says Kara Gallagher. “He was interning at (Child Protective Services) this summer and his macro project that we were doing was (collecting) baby formula since there’s been a baby formula shortage.”

Gallagher says Lee has never been afraid to be himself. 

“We have a diversity conference for all social work students and he did a panel in March talking about how being a queer, black man that also dresses very feminine in Mississippi can have its challenges,” she says.

People held up signs, played music, blew bubbles, and lit tea candles as a way to light Jay’s way home.

Dekalyn Gable says he traveled all the way from Boonville to show his support. 

“Being black, I feel like it’s insanely hard to be yourself, especially in the community, as a part of the LGBT community,” he says. 

Lee’s parents did not speak but had a statement read on their behalf to the crowd. 

“We’re thankful to everyone, families, friends, and communities from all over who have shown so much love and concern,” they wrote. 

“We’re just waiting for him to come home and say, ‘Hey, I’m here,’” Thompson says. 

Anyone with information on Lee should call the Oxford Police Department (662-232-2400) or CrimeStoppers (662-234-8477).


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