Mourners gather to remember Loren Saunders

MINEOLA, TX (KLTV) - By Jena Johnson - bio | email 
Posted by Elizabeth Thomas – email

MINEOLA, TX (KLTV) – Investigators say they don't believe there was foul play in Loren Saunders' death, and that the case will remain open.

Friends and family gathered Friday morning to say their goodbyes to East Texas teen.

Friends, family, teammates, even strangers came together to mourn the loss of 16-year-old Saunders.

Jese Swoape met Loren in the first grade, "I've seen him more than a thousand times just everyday at school. You see him walking the hall, and now you see him in that. You just want to wake up."

Buses from Loren's school, Alba-Golden were used to make sure those who knew Loren could say their goodbyes.

For Luke Gross, goodbye seems to soon, "You're still expecting him to show up at school, baseball."

Loren was an athlete with a gift to make people laugh.

"I remember one time he came to golf practice. He had his cowboy hat and cowboy boots, and we was all wondering why he was in his cowboy stuff and he said 'Well, I woke up today and felt cowboyish' and he said 'Yesterday I felt kind of gangsterish, and today, well, it's going to be a good day because we're playing golf,'" Luke recalls.

Its memories like this that make Luke smile, even on a day filled with sadness.

"He was always smiling, always having a good time, and that he loved life," Jese says of her friend.

"He lived for fun. He lived it for God," says Luke.

Perhaps what will stick with friends most is the way Loren treated people. Luke says everyone mattered to Loren.

Luke says, "He cared about everyone. He didn't single care about one person. He loved everybody."

And they loved Loren.

Loren will be buried in Dallas on Monday.

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