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Family of drowning victim Lloyd Westbrook II remembers son, brother

By By Caleb James, Reporter
Published On: Jul 05 2013 09:08:46 PM CDT

Caleb James reports.

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho -

An Idaho Falls family is mourning the loss of a family member who drowned in the Snake River on the July 4th holiday. 

The Bonneville County Sheriff's Office said 27-year old Lloyd Westbrook II tried to swim to Keefer's Island - a small land mass surrounded by swift currents.

The Westbrook family told Local News 8's Caleb James they're staying strong, by staying together. 

Gathered together in an Idaho Falls apartment on Friday afternoon, each family member described Lloyd Westbrook II as a loving son, brother and friend who friends knew simply by his nickname, "Mister." 

"I just keep thinking that, he's going to ride up on his bicycle and I know that he's not, but, I still haven't gotten that part," said Loretta Westbrook, mother. 

"He was one of God's kids," said his father, Lloyd Sr. 

"I still can't get my head around it, I can't get my heart around it," said Loretta. 

Each a member of a family said they were missing a part of themselves when they woke up this morning. 

On the 4th of July, amidst celebration, police say Lloyd Westbrook II tried to swim to Keefer's Island in the center of the Snake River. He was taken down by the under-toe -- his body found hours after his disappearance, at 1:30 a.m. Friday.

"About halfway out, you can see the difference in how the water moves," said Bonneville Sheriff Lt. James Foster. "There's a current that moves through here. The body was located in the current."

How he died -- the many people who watched police search for him -- the chaos, the confusion; to his family, none of it matters more than the way he lived.

"I guess that's the thing that I really hold onto," said Loretta. "That he loved people."

"People who didn't have friends, he would become their friend," said Westbrook II's brother, Corey. 

Loving, kind, selfless; but not without mystery. 

Lloyd Sr. said after a brief time in the Armed Forces, his son changed.

His spirit was less exuberant than it once was. 

"There were things that happened to him that he just wouldn't share," said Lloyd Sr. "He wouldn't share it. I'd love to know, love to read that chapter in his life." 

Without those pages, and maybe no way to fill in that blank, the Westbrooks rely on their best memories. 

"He just loved people, completely," said Corey. 

Funeral services for Westbrook have not yet been arranged. 

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