LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Dino Dizdarevic's friends say he had a big personality.
"He was a great guy. Very intellectual. He could outsmart just about anyone," said Drew Owen.
"He never met a stranger," Owen said. He says that's the quality they'll miss most.
Dizdarevic was found dead in a Philadelphia suburb last week. The Delaware County Daily Times reports he'd been beaten and strangled. There's no news of any arrests.
"Everyone in Louisville that I'm friends with is just deeply devastated by this and it comes as a shock to all of us," Owen said.
Dizdarevic's friends say he and his family moved to Berea from Bosnia in 1993. Dizdarevic went on to graduate from the University of Louisville with a degree in chemical engineering. They say he moved to Philadelphia for a job.
He was supposed to come home for the Derby, but missed his flight.
"He's very close to his family. That's always been his number one priority, so for him to miss his flight back home for the Derby, it was uncharacteristic of him," Owen said.
Friends hoped for the best, but say they expected the worst.
"I knew it was coming. I had that feeling. But this is something you just can't prepare yourself for," Owen said.
Those friends will be leaning on each other for support.
"I know they're all coming together to make a memorial for him," Owen said.
Friends have set up a memorial account at PNC Bank. It's under the name "Dino Dizdarevic Memorial Fund". You can also donate online at www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/hjl4/dino-dizdarevic-memorial-fund.