Hundreds packed the pews of a Manayunk church on Friday for the funeral Mass of college student Shane Montgomery, who died “suddenly, cruelly and tragically” after leaving a Main Street bar in late November.
For nearly two hours, family, friends and neighbors shed tears together inside St. John the Baptist’s towering sanctuary.
And shared hugs — lots of hugs.
Montgomery, 21, was remembered as a light-hearted, laid-back kid who loved the Eagles, hip-hop and his family, who promised to keep him close to their hearts.
“Please know that I will be there for you wherever you are…whenever you need me,” said Karen Montgomery, his mother.
“I love you always my brother, my best man,” said Thomas LaCorte.
The Roxborough resident was also praised as a unifier — even in death.
“It has brought the community together in multiple, multiple ways and I think it’ll continue to bear fruit,” said Rev. John Kelly of St. John the Baptist afterwards.
Montgomery went missing early Thanksgiving Day after leaving a Kildare’s Irish Pub on Main Street in Manayunk.
Little evidence surfaced afterwards.
FBI agents interviewed residents. Philadelphia police methodically combed the Manayunk Canal. Week after painful week, neighbors roamed the streets.
Nothing helped close out the painful search.
Last month, divers with the Garden State Underwater Recovery unit found Montgomery’s keys in the river.
The discovery came after investigators recovered surveillance footage from a nail salon that showed him heading in the direction of the Schuylkill after leaving Kildaire’s.
The same volunteer squad found Montgomery’s body roughly two weeks later behind the Manayunk Brewery near Shurs Lane, walking distance from where he was last seen alive.