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Family remembers Mishawaka man who died in St. Joseph River

“An old soul, too kind for this world… I just don’t know how else to sum it up,” said Amanda Rayburn, sister of Houston Rayburn.

Searching for the words to explain who her baby brother was is just one of the many hardships Amanda Rayburn and family are facing after their loss.

“Houston was a little brother, a son, a grandson, cousin and the best uncle and he made our family complete,” said Rayburn.

31-year-old Houston Rayburn was found dead in his car Sunday morning submerged in the St. Joseph River where police say his vehicle drove off the end of Vistula Road in Osceola around 2am, just hours after speaking with his oldest sister.

“Saturday night we were all at my parents’ house and he was at work and he commented on my Facebook post and said ‘I wish I was there’ and I said ‘you’re here in spirit’ and that was the last...” said Rayburn.

A sign and a street light sit on this stretch of road, and still police say they’ve responded to this exact spot for the same reason several times.

I reached out to town street department officials who say they don’t have plans to implement more signage or barriers to the area. The family says, despite knowing this, they wish to focus on Houston.

“We don’t want to lay blame or anything on anyone I personally feel that a barricade would be a good idea, but you know it’s tragic and that’s not going to help anything,” said Rayburn.

“Houston, he was our.. our world.. loved his nieces and nephews and he was the best uncle.. I’m proud of you and I love you…” said Rayburn.

Since his death, artwork has popped up in South Bend to remember Houston Rayburn. The incident involving his death and why his vehicle went into the river remains under investigation at this time. Stay with ABC 57 News for the latest updates.

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