Vigil held for Morgan
Area man missing since last March
By Angie Landsverk
Family and friends of Jon Jacob Morgan Jr. gathered to pray and support each other during a March 20 vigil, in Weyauwega.
The 23-year-old has been missing for more than a year.
“It’s humbling seeing the people come out,” said his father Jon. “Every day it hurts. It doesn’t go away. It just doesn’t get easier.”
His son Jake was last seen in the King area on March 6, 2020.
Jake was reported as missing two days later.
He was last seen wearing a black Nike sweatshirt with a white front and a gray beanie-style hat.
Waupaca County deputies have conducted search warrants and large-area searches for him.
Jon said people send him messages about things they have heard.
“Whether they’re rumors or not, it just wrecks you again,” he said.
Michelle Zartner, Jake’s mother, said she talks to someone in the sheriff’s office weekly.
“We are touching base all the time,” she said. “It’s an open investigation so they can’t tell us much at all. But they reassure us they’re working on the case.”
Zartner said they hope to eventually get answers and find out exactly what happened to her son.
The prayers people say for them give the family strength to keep carrying on, she said.
The vigil was held in the parking lot behind Weyauwega’s municipal building on Saturday, March 20.
Sue Stelzner organized it with the help of family members, local business owners and others.
“I feel like God spoke to me to do this,” she said.
Stelzner said she worked with Jake’s grandparents in the past.
Her husband coached Jake in youth wrestling and Pop Warner football, she said.
Jon said Jake was always active and busy.
“He pushed everything to the extreme,” he said. “He broke bone after bone after bone.”
It was Stelzner who got in touch with Zartner and presented the idea of holding a vigil for Jake.
That was in January.
Originally, the plan was to hold the vigil in February.
Due to the cold temperatures, the decision was made to instead hold it in March.
They intentionally stayed away from having the vigil around March 6, the anniversary of when he was last seen.
The first day of spring was chosen.
“Tonight is about praying for the family and for Jake,” Stelzner said.
Don Morgan is Jake’s grandfather.
He thanked all who attended the vigil.
“We appreciate the attendance, the concern, the prayers,” he said.
He said the family wants closure.
Morgan invited Rev. Andy Behrendt, of Trinity Lutheran Church in Waupaca, to say a prayer at the vigil.
Morgan and his wife Bev attend the church.
He said Behrendt prays for Jake every week.
Behrendt’s prayer during the vigil included helping the family to not feel alone, as well as asking for the truth and justice to come out.
“Thank you for Jake,” he prayed.