LINCOLN, Neb. Friends of Hai Sinh Nguyen are still in shock after the 34-year-old was found dead by the Big Blue River in Seward County.
"I can't think of any reason anyone would want to hurt him," said former co-worker Stefani Hansen-Wooten. "There's no reason that he deserved what happened to him."
Hansen-Wooten worked with Nguyen for more than a year at "The Egg & I" on North 70th Street. She says she remembers a kind man with a gentle heart.
"He was the nicest guy you'd ever meet, he had the biggest heart, he absolutely loved kids," said Hansen-Wooten. "He'd give you a ride to work if you needed it, he'd pick up shifts if you needed it, he would do extra work."
Other friends at a Lincoln recreation center who played basketball with Nguyen for a few years say he was fun to be around and always happy.
Some of them often played golf with Nguyen, another sport he loved.
They are raising money to help the family pay for the funeral service. So far they've collected around $1,000. They say they're just asking friends to give what they can and don't have a web site or fund in his name.
Nguyen was initially identified through fingerprints, but a photo of a tattoo and a description of the body shared with the public on Friday also resulted in information that helped NSP identify the body.
An autopsy ordered by the Seward County Attorney was conducted Thursday afternoon, June 26. Results of the autopsy are not being released as the investigation into the man’s death continues. Authorities believe he did not die of natural causes.