Scores of people came out to help search for Janice Rennells’ brother, James Rennells, after he went missing Friday.
It makes sense, she said. People loved him.
“People were coming out on Christmas Day to search for him, so many people,” Janice said.
James Rennells, 41, was last seen at work on Friday and hadn’t been seen or heard from since.
Searchers found his body in the Leverich Park area Wednesday, by a creek near the Ellen Davis Trail, his sister said.
One of his many friends found him, she said.
A recovering addict, James Rennells was active in his addiction recovery group, often going out of his way to help others with kicking their habits, Janice Rennells said.
“I’ve seen him give homeless people the coat off his back. I personally have witnessed it,” she said. “I personally have witnessed him helping so many people.”
Her brother, she said, had a “colorful” past and had been mending all the damage addiction had done to his relationships with friends and family.
“I neve doubted that he would get to that point in his life, and now he’s gone,” she said.
Janice Rennells said it’s not yet clear to the family what happened.
The Vancouver Police Department said the Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office was working to determine the cause and manner of Rennells’ death, and that the police investigation was ongoing.
He worked at a shipyard as a journeyman painter, a job that helped him get health care for his 7-month-old daughter, Jessie Mae. The girl has a heart condition, Rennells’ sister said, and only recently got off the list for heart transplants because she’s shown some improvement.
“That’s how we knew something was wrong because he would never leave his baby. That was his whole life,” she said.
James Rennells was close to getting promoted and was getting ready to get married.
“They just had a beautiful little family,” his sister said. “None of it really makes sense.”
Friends have set up an online fundraising account through GoFundMe.com to help James Rennells’ family with expenses under “Helping a beautiful soul and family,” or www.gofundme.com/helping-a-beautiful-soul-and-family.