01/13/2012 09:07 pm ET

Stacey English Missing: Candlelight Vigil For Atlanta Woman As Police Ready Lake Search

A candlelight vigil was held in Atlanta Thursday to raise awareness about the disappearance of Stacey Nicole English, a 36-year-old woman missing since the day after Christmas.

Family, friends and community members gathered at Park Tavern in Atlanta for an event hosted by City Council President Ceasar Mitchell and radio personality Frank Ski.

"There was approximately 250 to 300 folks there," English's father, Anthony English, told The Huffington Post. He said he was grateful, but not surprised by the turnout.

"My daughter is an exceptional young lady," English said.

Robert Kirk, of St. Louis, was visiting English at her home in the exclusive Vanderbilt complex on Lenox Road in Buckhead the night of Dec. 26, according to English's stepfather, Kevin Jamison. The two got into an argument and she asked him to leave, Jamison said. She hasn't been seen since.

Kirk declined to comment and referred questions to the police.

Police plan to search Lakewood Fairgrounds Lake on Monday. The location is not far from where Stacey English's car was found abandoned on Dec. 27. Her father said police didn't tell him about the search and he had to hear about it from local media.

"I'm kept out of the loop with the police department here in Atlanta," English said.

Carlos Campos, spokesman for the Atlanta Police Department, said investigators did not receive specific information that prompted the lake search.

"The search on Monday is a precaution," Campos said.

Meanwhile, English's family has hired private investigator T.J. Ward to assist in the case. Ward, president of Investigative Consultants, once worked on the 2005 disappearance of Natalee Holloway, which remains unsolved.

"We are confident that Mr. Ward and his team will be able to uncover information that will lead to our daughter coming home. We just want to hold her and know that she is OK," said English's mother, Cindy Jamison.

STACEY ENGLISH CASE PHOTOS: (Article Continues Below)

Stacey English

English is 5-foot-3 and weighs approximately 120 pounds. She has brown eyes and shoulder-length brown hair with blonde highlights.

Her family asks anyone with information to contact the Atlanta Police Department at 404-614-6544. They have also started a group about her case on Facebook.

This article corrects prior articles that wrongly identified Kevin Jamison as the father of Stacey English. He is the stepfather. Stacey English is the biological daughter of Anthony English.