ERLANGER, Ky. – Brandon Stamm's friends and family are trying to come to terms with his death after the 20-year-old drowned in a lake over the weekend.
"He never made enemies, only made friends," John Brinkman said.
When Brinkman heard the news, he drove all the way from Georgia to reflect on their friendship.
They met at Simon Kenton High School, Brinkman said.
"He was always joking, always laughing, always happy," Brinkman said. "He's just a great guy.
"The thing I'm struggling with now is I can't imagine life without him, without having a friend there, you know, somebody who's Brandon ... someone who cares so much and is so honest and straight forward with you ... I can't imagine what it's going to be like with him gone."
Stamm was in the Army, about to be deployed at the end of the year, friends said.
Police said Stamm was swimming across Doe Run Lake with a group of friends to get to a rope swing on the other side. Halfway across, he started to yell for help and went under.
Friends couldn't reach him in time. They said he was a good swimmer and they don't know what happened to him.
The accident happened about 7 p.m. Sunday. Searchers using sonar located Stamm's body in the darkness early Monday.
Another friend, Duncan Jenkins, also met Stamm at Simon Kenton. He said he loved him "like a brother."
"He came through a lot and he helped a lot of people out and he was a good friend to a lot of people," Jenkins said.
"I've taken it pretty hard. When I heard, I lost it. It's just too good of a guy."
Friends planned to hold a vigil for Stamm at 8 p.m. Monday at Doe Run Lake.