WESTFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- The community continues to come together to honor Achim Bailey, the 23-year-old Springfield man who had gone missing in January.

His body was found in the Connecticut River last month.

Achim Bailey would have graduated from Westfield State University next month.

It was standing room-only Tuesday night at a vigil to honor him.

News of his disappearance, and later his death, continues to have an impact on his fellow students and faculty.

Song, prayer, and tears filled Westfield State's Interfaith Center Tuesday night.

"This is so hard," Achim's friend, Amma Bigbei, tells us. "I can't even imagine what the family is going through."

Amma went to high school with Achim and attended the vigil organized by Achim's friends on campus.

"The most important thing we can do as a community is," stated Father Warren Savage. "Show compassion, to show great care, and great love, so the students actually wanted to make sure they had an opportunity to express their love and compassion for Achim and his family."

Achim's family was at the service to hear both faculty and Achim's classmates share stories about him.

"This beautiful soul," continued Father Savage. "This humble soul on campus touched a lot of people's hearts, so seeing the students react to the loss of someone so close to them, it made me become even more sensitive."

"He was loved," said Amma. "He was a sweet guy. In high school, literally, he makes everybody laugh, and, when were in the café, everybody knew Achim, so it's just very important just to come and support them. It's heartbreaking. Just being here is important."

The university honored Achim with a poster in the school's dining common, right where he would always eat lunch.

Andrea Murphy didn't know Achim, but says he had an impact on so many lives, including hers.

"I have never seen Westfield come together as quickly and as lovingly as they did in this situation," Murphy tells us. "Obviously it was a tragic situation, but it was nice to see this campus come together."

Those attending tell us they just want Achim's family to know how much they are loved and supported during this difficult time.

"Once an owl, always an owl," added Murphy. "Achim will always be in our hearts and he'll deeply be missed."

"Achim is loved, and," said Amma. "He is smiling down on us, and there's nothing else I can say, but I am so sorry."

That poster of Achim will soon be placed permanently in the school's Campus Center.

He will also be honored with a posthumous degree at next month's graduation.

His parents tell Western Mass News they will be there to accept it.

Copyright 2019 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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