COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - As a community of friends are sharing memories as they continue to grieve for the University of South Carolina medical student who died in Peru.
Seth Thomas went missing in Peru after going for a hike on Friday. Peruvian police found Thomas' body Sunday afternoon after an apparent hiking accident in the Andes Mountains.
Thomas had been working in a clinical program through Augusta University with a Peruvian non-profit to improve women's health. Friends say he loved going abroad and had aspirations of joining Doctors Without Borders one day.
Chase Smith and Lee Davis both attended River Springs Elementary School in Irmo with Seth.
"He loved going overseas. He loved other cultures," Smith said. "He was so fascinated by how others lived in other parts of the world."
Chase says he met Seth in the second-grade.
"He was kinda funny. He had a funny personality. Me and one of my other buddies, Zach, we were both good friends with him," Smith said. "We had our little group, our little trio of friends."
Chase describes Seth as a talent in all facets of his life. He says not only was Seth a brilliant intellectual, but a prolific writer and a gifted violinist.
"I guess there are just some things that we'll never understand this side of heaven. A lot of heartbreak, a lot of sadness. But I know if Seth were here right now, he wouldn't want us to be sad," Smith said. "He would want us to be happy and celebrate his life and celebrate the things he did. Because he did some awesome things."
Another one of Seth's friends, Jay Foster, has set up a GoFundMe page to help the Thomas family with funeral expenses. You can find a link to that, here: https://www.gofundme.com/in-memory-of-seth-thomas