Body of West Michigan teen returned home 30 years after he went missing

Posted at 10:11 PM, Aug 30, 2014
and last updated 2014-08-30 22:11:46-04

BELDING, Mich. - It was a homecoming 30-years in the making .  Clyde Lee Jourdan ran away from home at the age of 17 in 1978.  His family had been searching for him ever since.

This July, police in Utah delivered his family the news that Jourdan had died two years after going missing.  It then became the family's mission to bring his body back to West Michigan.  On Saturday, the family became whole again.

Jourdan's family gathered in Riverside Park East in Belding where the teen loved to fish to share 17 years worth of stories and memories.

When Jourdan ran away from home, his family would eventually learn that he was taken in by Robert Beeler and his daughters.

Jourdan's mother, Mary Hagadus, is convinced Beeler is responsible for her son's death, even though he was never charged.

"They loved him in Utah, those girls did.  And they were very grateful because (Jourdan) did give up his life trying to protect them," said Hagadus.

Beeler was convicted on charges of child molestation and died in prison in 2012.

These details of Jourdan's life were only learned recently.  FOX 17 spoke with Hagadus in July as she was working with detectives in Utah trying to bring her son's remains home.

"I am finally happy," Hagadus said on Saturday.  "I've got my son's ashes so now he can be with family.