T he mood was somber this evening at Taughnnock Falls State Park in Tompkins County. More than 100 family and friends, as well as member from the Ithaca community came out tonight to grieve and remember Christopher Dennis, 22.
One of Chris's friends John Pritez was there on Monday. "Chris was the happiest person I have ever known he brought joy into everything that he did. All the time, everything that we did together, everything that he was ever a part of was more fun because he was a part of it," says Pritez.
Last week Dennis was camping on the western shore of Cayuga Lake in Seneca County near the Village of Ovid. The soon to be Cornell graduate was enjoying his last week with friends as a college senior.
Gillian Trimber was on the camping trip with Chris. "Certainly he was competent enough at canoeing and I think just went out to see the sunrise, he was awake before all of our other friends so he decided to go out on the lake," says Trimber.
His canoe was found capsized in the lake later that day and a search was immediately started by the Sheriffs department, as well as family and friends. After searching for five days, everyone who loved Chris was able to come together tonight to get closure and say goodbye.
Bella Byrne is a family friend. "I think he will come back, whether it's spiritually or actually. I just think he's going to be in our hearts, even if you didn't know him very well," says Byrne.
Chris was in the hearts of everyone tonight and will remain there as family's hug one another and friends cry together.