WHITMAN — Vincenzo Lirosi, 22, of Whitman is being remembered by family and friends as a fun-loving person who had been active in youth sports while growing up.
A Gofundme account set up to pay for funeral costs and services for the University of New Hampshire student who was found dead in a marshy area of Durham, N.H., Sunday after he had been reported missing the night before. Lirosi had attended Whitman schools and was a 2018 graduate of Whitman-Hanson Regional High School.
The fundraiser, with an initial goal of $5,000 — set up by his brother Giovanni — had raised $48,505 and more than 1,700 donations by Monday afternoon.
“My son is a Wildcat,” one woman wrote, referring to the UNH mascot. “I cannot imagine your pain at this time.”
“Vinny was a wonderful boy and he will be missed dearly,” another woman wrote.
“Wildcats stick together,” a man wrote on the Gofundme page. Others noted that, while they did not know Lirosi, they wanted to help his family and were sending their prayers.
“He meant a lot to so many people and me and my mom really appreciate everything you guys are doing to help us out during this tough time,” Giovanni, who goes by Gio, wrote on the Gofundme site. “All of this support is way beyond me and my mum’s wildest expectations. I literally cannot express how much this means to us and all of our family and friends.”
“He was a great kid,” Whitman Police Deputy Chief Joseph Bombardier said Monday. “His mother is a great gal, and Gio, his brother, is a good kid. They lost his father years ago, so it’s been tough on the family.”
Bombardier had coached Vincenzo Liorsi in Whitman Youth Football.
New Hampshire police said a path through the wooded area near where Vincenzo, or Vinny to his family, was a shortcut to Lirosi’s residence, according to a report on Boston 25 News Monday. He had been out drinking with friends and did not have a phone or ID with him, according to published reports.