Family, Friends Mourn SDSU Student's Death

By Paul Krueger
|  Tuesday, Mar 8, 2011  |  Updated 9:51 PM PDT
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Images: SDSU Student Austin Bice

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Austin Bice’s friends are filling his Facebook page with fond memories after the SDSU student’s body was pulled out of a Madrid river on Tuesday.

Those memories are a real comfort for Lexi Gompf, who dated Austin as a junior at Torrey Pines High School.

"Even though we're not bringing him back the way we wanted to, we're still doing what we set out to do," Gompf said, as she scrolled through photos of Bice on Facebook and other websites. "We're going to bring him home to his family."

Bice, who was participating in a study abroad program, vanished on Feb. 25 after a night out with friends.

Gompf talked Tuesday morning with Austin's mother, Pam Bice, who stayed at the Bice family home in Carlsbad while Austin's dad searched for their son in Madrid. She says Pam Bice also takes comfort from knowing that her son touched so many lives, and was loved by so many people.

She said Pam Bice told her "that we were lucky to have him for 22 years, and we just have to remember all the good memories we have."

Gompf said the Bice family wants to thank everyone for their support and prayers, and for the donations made to help pay for the search effort.

"We want people to know that it wasn't for nothing, that all the money that we've raised is going to go to the Bices. We're going to bring him back. We're going to bring his body home to have a proper burial and let his parents and loved ones say good-bye to him," Gompf said.

Bice's body was found in the Manzanares River, a shallow, slow-moving waterway that runs through western Madrid, in a spot not far from the nightclub where he was last seen in the early hours of Feb. 26, said a police official. Read more

The cause of death was not known but there were no immediate signs of foul play.

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