"I feel sick, I am missing him," Michelle Moss said.
Moss came to the banks of the Otter Creek to look on as police worked to recover the body of her best friend, Yadji Moussa, 55.
"He was a good swimmer," Moss said.
But an evening swim to cool off on a hot summer day proved deadly for the father of two. Moussa was swimming with three friends in the Frog Hollow section of the creek around 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
"It's dangerous here, I can't believe he was swimming here," Moss said. "We never swam here, and if I knew he was swimming here I would have come and gotten him last night."
Police say at the time, the victim was swimming back and forth between the river banks when he went under.
"We don't know what caused him to go under at this point," Middlebury Police Chief Tim Hanley said. "All we know is he was swimming, did not appear to be in distress, disappeared under the surface and never came up."
Rescue personnel were on scene within minutes, but could not enter the water because it was getting dark. Dive teams entered the water Friday morning and found Moussa's body just a few feet from where he went under.
Authorities say this part of the creek is a popular swimming spot because it is near two hiking trails. But police warn it is more dangerous than it looks. The water is 10 feet deep in some spots.
"It is not a good idea for people to swim in the river," Hanley said. "There are a lot of underwater obstructions, soft muddy bottom, there is a fairly significant drop-off in the middle, and there is a very significant amount of water that moves through that chokepoint."
Michelle Moss fought back tears as she remembered her best friend, a man who liked to play soccer and volleyball, and participated in many church groups.
"I miss him a lot," she said. "He was my best friend."
Police are looking into whether alcohol may have played a role.
Saturday, December 7 2013 8:17 PM EST2013-12-08 01:17:59 GMT
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Saturday, December 7 2013 8:17 PM EST2013-12-08 01:17:57 GMT
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Saturday, December 7 2013 8:00 PM EST2013-12-08 01:00:24 GMT
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Saturday, December 7 2013 7:54 PM EST2013-12-08 00:54:07 GMT
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Saturday, December 7 2013 7:49 PM EST2013-12-08 00:49:03 GMT
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Saturday, December 7 2013 7:43 PM EST2013-12-08 00:43:41 GMT
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