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Scott Satchfield / Eyewitness News
Email: ssatchfield@wwltv.com | Twitter: @satchfield

NEW ORLEANS -- With his family and friends gathered along the lakefront seawall, the search continued for 21-year-old Kswany Chavez on Wednesday.

Crews focused on an area about 50 yards from Tuesday's search zone, using K9s and dragging the lake bottom.

Friends fear the worst and just want closure.

'The hope is to find him to give him a proper burial,' said William Membreno.

Membreno was with Chavez when the nightmare began.

He shared with us a photo of his roommate and best friend, which was taken minutes before they both went into the water to help another struggling swimmer.

Membreno, who said he was exhausted from swimming against the strong currents, then realized it was Kswany who was in the most trouble.

'When he started going down, down, down, I grab (Kswany) and we both go straight down, and I had to let him go,' he said. '(Kswany) loved his friends. He connected a lot of us. He gave me, at 21 years old, he gave me another reason to live. Like, that was my little brother man. And I hate to use the word 'was,' but he was.'

Wednesday afternoon, conditions on the lake worsened considerably, similar to what the group of friends dealt with Tuesday.

Due to weather concerns, officials suspended their search until further notice.

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