Westfield, Special Olympics community mourning loss of Robert Tesini

WESTFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) – The community of Westfield continues to mourn the loss of 32-year-old Robert Tesini after he was found dead on Monday. It’s drawing major attention as he had ties to the Special Olympics community and was very well known to many in the city.

“You always look out for him and now that he’s gone, it just really affected the whole community. The whole community of Westfield is now mourning this loss,” said Kayla Cornelius of Westfield.

A community is remembering Tesini, who was known as a staple in the city with ties to the Special Olympics community. A GoFundMe has now been set-up to cover Tesini’s funeral costs. Western Mass News spoke with Cornelius, who grew up with and knew Tesini.

“He was really big on the Special Olympics and he just overall a fantastic person and he really is just going to be deeply missed by everybody,” Cornelius added.

An extensive search effort for Tesini began Friday after he was reported missing near the Westfield River bridge and found dead Monday. We have learned the circumstances surrounding his death are under investigation by Mass. State Police attached to the Hampden District Attorney’s Office, the Westfield Police Department, and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

Cornelius told Western Mass News she has organized a community wide event, “Lights On For Robbie,” to honor the joy he brought to the city.

“What we’re doing is if you don’t have a porch where you can turn on your light, you can just light a candle…Starting on Friday at 6 pm and it’s going until Sunday night. You can do it whenever you want. Start it early, you can go later than you want. What we’re asking is people post pictures in the event, so that the family can see all the lights,” Cornelius explained.

She said she is also asking community members to share memories of Robbie on the event’s Facebook page.

“Just so they can feel all the love and support surrounding them because they really need it right now. It’s not just the community. It’s the family who needs it right now,” Cornelius noted.

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