Family and friends mourn the drowning victim

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PROVIDENCE, RI (WPRI) – Dozens of family and friends gathered Friday night to remember one of the two men who drowned in a pond in West Greenwich last week.

Divers pulled Joshua Richards, 20, of Providence, from Phelps Pond Friday night after he went into the water and never surfaced.

Monkon Jay King, Richards’ aunt, tells 12 News he drowned trying to save his friend, 20-year-old Tylon Brooks, who was struggling in the water.

“He was a great person,” King said. “We lost a big one”

King invited everyone who knew her nephew to Clifford Street, where a candlelight vigil was held in his honor.

She told 12 News that she wasn’t surprised by the turnout and called it incredible.

“I know he was loved very much,” she said. “He was a legend.”

Fredrick Mallay, Richards’ cousin, tells 12 News he’s made an impression on everyone he’s met.

“He motivated, encouraged and helped all of us to become better people,” Mallay said. “This loss is tragic for all of us, but we know we can’t grieve for too long because he wouldn’t want to. He would want us to rise and grow and be the best versions of ourselves.”

The brothers of both richards and streams has created GoFundMe pages to help with funeral expenses, both of whom have already raised thousands of dollars.

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