SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- It’s a story that the community has been following for a year now.
Today marks the anniversary that 23-year-old Springfield man, Achim Bailey went missing.
The community rallied around his family as they searched for answers and til this day, they’re desperate to know what happened to their son.
Western Mass News reporter, James Villalobos continues our exclusive coverage on his case.
For a year now we have returned to the Bailey's living room several times as we worked with them to try out what happened to Achim.
We did so again tonight as they reflected on the past year, and share with us their reaction the mayor’s decision to take action against the bar.
Hugh and Dorothy Bailey sit in their living room and watch the latest report regarding the disappearance of their son.
The two still struggling til this day.
“It’s just like an emptiness you know, the loneliness. I just feel like sometimes i’m not even in my own body, it’s just very, very strange," Dorothy explained.
"I still look out the window. Seriously, I still stay up late at night looking," Hugh said.
The two hopeful this is all just a nightmare.
“When I hear the door open I’m looking to see if it’s him coming in the door. And sometimes when i go out, I come in and looking to see if he’s sitting on the couch like he always does, watching TV. I walk by his room and he’s not there. It’s just very hard," Dorothy noted.
This year, they say they didn’t put up a christmas tree or christmas lights, something they just couldn’t bring themselves to do.
"There’s a point that when you lose your child, part of you is missing. And missing through a sense that for me you feel like your heart is split in two. Half here, half is with him," Hugh said.
The Bailey's still struggling, trying to find out what happened the night he went missing. But feel just some relief after the mayor took action against the bar following an investigation by western mass news.
“I think there’s some amount of fairness to it. Even though the time frame is a little bit less than what a lot of us expected. But at the same token I know they do have a business to run. But at least their was some adjudication and that means more than even anything else," Hugh noted.
That adjudication, Hugh said, was the added safety measures called on by the mayor, one of which including that an officer or security staff must watch patrons and their condition as they leave the bar.
But in the same token, they hope there’s more love and compassion, something that Achim’s mom said could’ve possible saved him that night had someone outside checked on him.
“He was such a good happy go lucky person. He helps everyone," Dorothy said.
“We’re at a point where we never want to see another parents go through what we’ve been through this past year and what we’re going to be going through for the rest of our lives because we’re dealt a life sentence," Hugh explained.
As they reflect on the past year, they said the community’s support has kept them strong.
Just as the community never did, they credit Springfield Police Detective John Lopez for not giving up on Achim.
"As an investigator he’s always been forthcoming, and is always someone that i can reach out to, even if he has no new information. He will always pick up the phone when I call," Hugh said.
Achim’s home now...sitting in an urn on their TV stand, and around their neck in necklaces they had made with his ashes.
But nothing fills the void of his physical presence.
"I can pick up his shirt and hold it in my arms and i can say it makes my heart feel good, this is the way we connect, by me going into his room and holding onto a piece of his clothes," Dorothy said.
But for Hugh, he has yet to enter Achim’s room, and coping has been much more difficult...
"I just cry for him every day and pray," Hugh explained.
Praying, he said, not only for his soul...but also looking forward to the moment they’re together again.
"I don’t even know if I’ll be talking..I’ll just be holding and hugging him. Just embracing him for a long time, I won’t be able to get any words out," Hugh said.
“Just embrace each other and say ‘Welcome. Welcome home papa I’m right here now. We’re together. Now I’m at peace. You know with God and you," Dorothy explained.
The Baileys' can’t reiterate enough how thankful they are for the community’s support.
They still don’t believe Achim had his phone on him that night and that it was planed so they ask that anyone with information to please contact police and help them have closure.