SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Hundreds of family, friends and colleagues remembered a slain Utah rail worker Saturday while also offering forgiveness to his killer.
The three sons of 63-year-old Kay Ricks occasionally expressed anger at his death but also recalled their father's forgiving nature. Wynn Ricks said he knew his father forgave whoever killed him and was waiting for others to follow in his footsteps.
Their father was someone who enjoyed fixing things for people for free and urged his sons to do the same.
"If I can have half the love and determination my dad had, I will turn out to be a great man," Joel Ricks said, according to the Daily Herald in Provo (http://bit.ly/1NViXQX ).
Relatives also touched on Ricks' quirky humor and love for his wife, Lorie.
The noon service, inside the American Fork West Stake Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, started with the Utah Transit Authority briefly halting its buses and trains as operators read a statement honoring the American Fork maintenance worker and grandfather.
Flags have also been flown at half-staff on UTA property, and vehicles have been running with their headlights on.
Ricks disappeared May 12 during his shift maintaining light-rail lines in Salt Lake City. Police are investigating whether a father and son accused of tying up five women in a basement were involved in his disappearance.
Ricks would have been in an area where the two suspects, Flint Wayne Harrison and Dereck James Harrison, were hiding from a manhunt.
His body was discovered 130 miles away in Wyoming, along the route police say the suspects likely took to a campsite where they stayed before their arrest. His official UTA truck was found near the hideout.
The FBI calls them persons of interest in his disappearance. Though they haven't been formally charged in Ricks' death, they are being held in a Utah jail on kidnapping and other charges.
Prosecutors allege they lured a woman and her four teenage daughters to the younger Harrison's house in Centerville, Utah, with an invitation to a barbecue, then tied them up and beat them with a baseball bat on May 10. Police say they were using drugs heavily and wrongly thought the mother had reported them to police.
The women broke free and escaped, but the two men got away before police arrived. They were on the run for four more days before Flint Harrison, 51, turned himself in to police near Pinedale, Wyoming. His 22-year-old son was arrested hours later.
The Ricks family doesn't plan on attending their court appearances, preferring to focus on his life rather than the circumstances of his death, family spokesman Richard Massey has said.
Ricks has been remembered as a handyman who offered to help neighbors fix things in his free time. An electrician before joining UTA in 2010, Ricks organized his life around set routines that only his wife and his six grandchildren were allowed to interrupt.
The day he disappeared, Ricks turned back as he left for work because he forgot to kiss his wife goodbye, Massey said.