AVON LAKE — The search for the second of two missing swimmers came to a tragic end Sunday morning.
Search crews pulled the body of 20-year-old Brandon Glass, of Elyria, from the waters of Lake Erie at 11:30 a.m.
He was found more than 300 yards from the shore and 200 yards west of the Miller Road Park area where he had been swimming with friends Thursday night.
County Coroner Paul Matus said Glass drowned shortly after being swept underwater. There was no evidence of significant trauma.
The body of Glass’ friend, Daniel Smith, 19, of Elyria, was recovered by searchers Friday. The two had been swimming in choppy waters when an undertow current pulled both under shortly after 9 p.m. Thursday.
Smith and Glass grew up less than a mile from each other in the Eastern Heights neighborhood of Elyria and attended school together in Elyria.
Each had a knack for making people laugh, according to friends and family who gathered at The Tattoo Lounge in Elyria on Sunday to get a “permanent memorial” tattoo to the swimmers that read “Only the good die young.”
Smith’s father, Tom Smith, was one of 30 people who got inked in honor of his son.
“He was a wonderful boy,” he said while hugging Smith’s girlfriend of three years, 20-year-old Corie Hughes.
Hughes was in the water when the two went missing and made the frantic 911 call to alert authorities. She, too, will get a tattoo in honor of Smith.
“There were so many things that made him special,” she said before tears overwhelmed her.
Mike Schoger Jr., part-owner of The Tattoo Lounge, said although his shop usually closes at 6 p.m. on Sundays, it would remain open through midnight to allow for everyone to get a $45 tattoo.
His son, Mike Schoger III, had attended school with Smith and Glass and was one of the friends that thought of the idea of the memorial.
The star of the tattoo represents Smith and Glass’ love of BMX bike riding, he said. The friends had their stars filled in with blue to represent the sky, while Smith’s father had his filled in with red — his son’s favorite color.
Aaron Allen, 20, of Elyria, said the stinging of the tattoo helped to take some of the pain away in his heart.
“They were so funny, loving, and caring,” he said. “I just can’t believe something like this happened so close to home.”
The Glass family could not be reached for comment.
Contact Stephen Szucs at 329-7129 or firstname.lastname@example.org.