GBI working leads in Paulding missing teen case

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AUSTELL, Ga. - A local church is remembering a college student investigators believe was murdered. Evidence collected over the weekend may bring investigators one step closer to finding the 19-year-old boy.

Members of Destiny World Church prayed for the family of Jmaal Keyes.

Police arrested and charged his classmate, 17-year-old Robert Rolison, with the murder of the 19-year-old Middle Georgia College student.

Members told Channel 2's Rachel Stockman that Keyes attended the Austell church with his family, and it's a very difficult time for many in the congregation.

"This week has been a very difficult week in the life of our church," said Pastor Wilbur Purvis.

On this Mother's Day, the pastor told members to embrace the teen's family.

Keyes disappeared at the end of April. Although the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has found evidence in connection with Keyes' case, they have not found Keyes.

The focus of the search this weekend was on a burned out area off Highway 247 in Pulaski County. The fire happened the same day Keyes disappeared, police said. Detectives hope evidence collected from the area will yield promising results.

Channel 2 Action News was at Middle Georgia College campus last week, when church members knocked on doors and passed out fliers to assist in the search.

"We are so close. We are all friends. We talk, we hug. I mean, we know each other so it's very hard," said member Kenya Rachel.

"Even though it's a big building, we know when someone is missing. And when one hurts, we all hurt," said member Timothy Smalls.

"He was in our youth department. He was very quiet. You really didn't hear him that much if he did speak. He was very polite. He sang in the choir with us," another member said.

Keyes' family attended Sunday's service and asked that the media respect their privacy at this time.


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