Hundreds release balloons to remember Michael George

Cayce, SC (WACH)-- A difficult week for Gary George and his wife Helen ended with a special tribute Sunday.

The couple held a balloon release ceremony with hundreds of family and friends. It was done to honor the George's son Michael; who disappeared a year ago.

The Lexington Sheriff's Department arrested William Embree Jr. Tuesday. He is charged with kidnapping and murdering the 22- year-old. Officials say Michael was last seen leaving Shooters Bar and Grill with Embree Christmas Eve of 2011. His car was found Christmas Day.

Helen George said her focus is not on Embree.

"I'm not worried about him. He is in jail," Helen said. "The only thing I am worried about is getting Michael back. It was heartbreaking when they told me he killed him. He murdered my son. That just makes it worse."

Gary George said there are many reasons behind the balloon release.

"It is a way to get the word out," Gary said. "The little tags hooked to them have Crimestoppers phone number and his facebook. If you find one, you can post it on his facebook where you found it. It is just symbolism in a way. And it is also to keep the information out."

But Gary said there is still no closure in their hearts.

"The healing process can't start until you have the person back in your possession," Gary said. "The healing process starts when you know the end. And there is no end right now."

The family remains optimistic that will be sooner rather than later.

"Hopefully one of these tags will land somewhere where somebody is going to see it and has information," Gary said.

The Lexington Sheriff's Department said they found forensic evidence in Embree's house that led to his arrest. He is scheduled to be back in court in January.

Anyone with information is urged to call Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.