Brenden Lewis’ body was found last Friday down an embankment in Goleta. The 24-year-old was a former Santa Barbara City College student. Friends and family are shocked by the news.
Photos and football highlights are all that is left of the Santa Barbara City College athlete.
“He was very well known in this community,” said Krystle Farmer, a Santa Barbara College student. “Everyone that I have spoken to has said nothing but great things about him.”
Lewis’ life came to a screeching halt with a call to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office reporting a dead body on July 22 near Calle Real in the city of Goleta.
“The Sheriff’s department is treating this as a suspicious death until it is determined that no foul play was involved,” said Kelly Hoover, Public Information Officer for the Sheriff’s Office. “At this point we are just trying to figure out what happened to Brenden Lewis. We have a team of investigators who from the moment he was found had been working tirelessly trying to figure out what happened to him.”
People walking in the area came across his body. Lewis was reported missing to police back on March 30, 2018, by his mother and girlfriend.
Lewis moved to Santa Barbara from Kansas to play on the SBCC football team. According to friends the 24-year-old played for the Vaqueros, but it’s still unclear for which season. After football he went from one friend’s house to another, looking for a place to stay. A family friend believes he got no help after leaving the team, a tough situation for many out of state students.
“If we can get them here and use them for their physical attributes then we should be able to provide for them in other ways,” said Farmers. “Provide them resources and guarantee that they transfer on and I feel like we failed. I feel like we absolutely failed with Brenden.”
Family and friends are now left wondering what happened. One friend, who wanted to remain anonymous, said he was outraged:
“There’s this black man that is missing in this community for months, but no one is looking for him. Then his body turns up. Where is his story? I am very certain that if this was not a black man and he was white or a UCSB student it would be all over the news. Day one he went missing it would be all over the news up until they found him.”
Friends of Brenden Lewis have set up a Gofundme page to help his family with bring his body home.