UPDATE: Fishing buddy remembers man found dead in South Bend woods

Published: Feb. 3, 2016 at 11:54 AM EST
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With a nifty motorized wheelchair, Dan Badur rolls from Point A to Point B. A quadriplegic, Badur can cast with the rest of them, hooking large-mouth bass at his favorite fishing spots, like Great Bear Lake in Michigan.

Two summers ago, the annual Great Bear family vacation almost stayed in the scrapbooks, until the son of Badur's caretaker stepped up.

"[Zachary Smith] was just a big help, from the start of loading up the trailer and van and everything to go with us," recalled Badur, who needed that newfound friend to wheel him from the cottage to the dock.

"Without his help, we wouldn't have been able to go," added Badur.

He and Smith were planning on a February trip to Florida, but news broke over the weekend of a body found in a patch of woods on the westside of South Bend. Zachary Smith was reported missing on December 13.

"Was kinda hoping it wasn't him, but from the description and location, not being far from his house was afraid it might be," said Dan.

On Wednesday, the St. Joseph County coroner confirmed Smith's body was found in the woods near Linden Avenue and Wellington Street in South Bend.

The discovery was made on January 30 by a person walking a dog nearby.

"You look back and say, 'Darn, I wish we would have talked more," lamented Badur.

Without Smith's help, the Great Bear Lake tradition may end this year. But, Badur's thinking about the times the two would "chew the fat" on the phone.

"You really can't explain it when you're in this condition. Someone comes along to give you a hand, and they're not around anymore to do that -- just to even call and have someone to call and talk to if you wanted," he said.

An autopsy was completed Tuesday afternoon in Kalamazoo, but the cause of death is still unknown at this time.

has been set up to help Zachary's family with his funeral and other unexpected expenses.