LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) – One day after La Crosse Police recovered the body of 23 year old Shalim Augustine, friends and family have said they are grieving for Shalim—but want to shift their focus on celebrating his life.
Friday night was disturbing for the Augustine family. “It was just devastating news to hear,” cousin Yahkub Augustine said. “He was a person who was full of life, very well-liked. Everyone I spoke with who worked with him at Huck Finn's said he had a great personality, he was very outgoing. I haven't met a person that didn't like him.”
The La Crosse Police said in their press release there were “no visible signs of trauma”, but the family said it was uncharacteristic of Shalim to go missing. “It was a really big shock and one can say. We really did not know because nobody has prepared for such a tragedy,” said Father Patrick Augustine of Christ Episcopal Church. Father Augustine is Shalim's uncle.
To Yahkub, Shalim was like a younger brother. “We spent a lot of years together, lot of time together,” Yahkub said. “I took him to the Y.M.C.A., personal trained him. We had a lot of good memories together.”
Father Augustine said having family around is very helpful—and knowing the community has their back is great, too. “We are human beings. We are people of emotions and feelings and we go through all of that,” Father Augustine said. “We are really overwhelmed that so many people in our community have reached out. And I want to say to our community that we are grateful for their warmth, for their concern, and for their love.”
Yahkub said it'll be a “challenge moving on” for the Augustine family, but remembering the good memories is how their family plans to adjust moving forward.
Father Augustine has also extended a public-wide invitation for Shalim Augustine's funeral service. The service will take place on Saturday, July 19 at 10 a.m., at Christ Episcopal Church.