Family and friends gathered to remember a father who passed away earlier this week in a cave in Cheatham County.
A vigil honoring R.J. Manley was held Friday night at Riverbluff Park in Ashland City. A large crowd came together with balloons and candles. They prayed and shared stories and memories. Manley was remembered as a good father, and someone who was a friend to everyone.
“He was always respectful, and always had a smile on his face,” said Shelly Tant, one of Manley’s friend’s and neighbors. “It’s important to honor and remember R.J. He was special.”
Manley was last seen Sunday. His father found his body submerged in water in a cave in Pleasant View on Wednesday.
Friends said Manley was known to visit the cave because he found it comforting.
The 23 year old leaves behind family members and a two year old son. Friends said coming together for the vigil helped them deal with the tragedy.
“It’s hard on everyone,” said Randall Alm, one of Manley’s friends. “For me, there is no way to cope. I don’t have any closure.”
The Pleasant View Police Department, Cheatham County Sheriff's Office and TBI all assisted with the investigation.
Officials with the TBI said they are still investigating, but foul play isn't suspected. They are still waiting on full autopsy results.
Visitation for Manley will be Saturday, Aug. 20 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. His funeral is scheduled for Sunday at 2 p.m.
Friends also collected money Friday night to help Manley’s family with funeral expenses. They also set up a GoFundMe account to help cover expenses. To help out, click here.