Dozens of Bosnians have defied a ban and lit candles to honor a 21-year-old student whose unresolved death has inspired months of protests alleging a police cover-up.

The gathering outside an Orthodox Christian church in the Bosnian Serb city of Banja Luka took place Thursday as police officers stood by and observed the crowd.

Police have said they are searching for the late student's father, Davor Dragicevic. He has inspired months of anti-government protests by demanding answers about his son David's death in March.

Police have banned the events from being held without special authorization. Dragicevic hasn't been seen since thousands of his supporters rallied on Sunday.

Police initially said David Dragicevic died by suicide, but the family insisted someone else killed him.