Memorial service for Jason Knapp, missing for 20 years - FOX Carolina 21

Memorial service for Jason Knapp, missing for 20 years

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PICKENS, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Jason Knapp was a 20-year-old Clemson student who went missing back in 1998. He still hasn't been found.

Jason's friends and family held a ceremony on Clemson University's campus marking the 20 year anniversary of his disappearance, and to also have a chance to say their proper goodbyes.

Recently, Jason's parents tell us they decided to go through the process to legally declare Jason deceased, and after 20 years they say it hasn't gotten any easier.

Jason's mom Deborah Booghor says 20 years later they still don't have the answers they are looking for, but as time kept passing by they wanted to make sure they had a chance to remember Jason properly with all of his friends and family around just in case they never do get the chance to say goodbye.

Reflecting on time with her son, Deborah tells us, "The thing i miss the most is that i cant sit down and talk with him about things because he was always good about that we could sit down and do that and i really miss that".

As his mother, Deborah says she has never once stopped thinking about her only son Jason and she often thinks back to the say she found out he was missing saying, "When they called me i didn't know what to think at the time. I mean when someone calls you and tells you they haven't seen someone for five days you're like in shock."

Her son Jason was an engineering student at Clemson, a member of the ROTC, and had recently pledged into a military group on campus called the Pershing Rifles, something his mom said he had always wanted.

"He was so thrilled to get in and he was so happy it was the end of the school year and he was going to be able to come home and relax and i couldn't wait for him to get home so i could spend some time with him", Deborah says.

However, that time never came, and her questions and concerns only grew.

"Where is he? What happened? Was he laying in a ditch somewhere, maybe he had a car accident or something I don't know. It was horrible. I couldn't sleep. My only child was missing and nobody knew where he was," Deborah explains.

Today she says she still has those questions, but shes not let it hold her back for her sons sake.

She says, "You just put one foot in front of the other, and you know that Jason would want you to live your own life and not end up down in the drag where you cant pull yourself up to do what you need to do to find him."

Jason's parents say they are proud of the man Jason was becoming, and his dad John Knapp, a Vietnam veteran, was proud of his son for wanting to follow in his military footsteps.

"When he was just about this small he had a set of fatigues the same as mine and he would wear them and we could get our picture taken together, but I think he would have made a great officer," John says.

Jason's mom tells us this doesn't mean they are giving up their search for him. They're just saying goodbye while they continue to hope and pray for answers and to hopefully know that Jason has found peace somewhere.

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