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  • Staff photo by Don Himsel A man identifying himself only as Corey Furgal's brother stood outside of Merrimack District Court Monday with rosary beads. "Corey's not like that," he said about his brother's arraigment for a weekend killing.
  • Staff photo by Don Himsel A man identifying himself only as Corey Furgal's brother holds rosary beads outside of Merrimack District Court Monday. "Corey's not like that," he said about his brother's arraigment for a weekend killing.
  • Staff photo by Don Himsel Corey Furgal is led from Merrimack District Court Monday, November 2, 2009.
  • Staff photo by Don Himsel Corey Furgal is led from Merrimack District Court Monday, November 2, 2009.
  • Staff photo by Don Himsel Corey Furgal is led from Merrimack District Court Monday, November 2, 2009.
  • Staff photo by Don Himsel Corey Furgal, arraignment, November 2, 2009.
  • Staff photo by Don Himsel Corey Furgal enters the courtroom in Merrimack District Court Monday, November 2, 2009, for his arraignment in a weekend killing.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Family, friends recall victim

MERRIMACK – Chris Vydfol barely had a chance to grow up.

Vydfol, 20, of Nashua, was killed at a Merrimack house party Sunday when 23-year-old Corey Furgal stabbed him in the chest, according to investigators.

Vydfol’s family, friends and co-workers described him as a soft-spoken man who was very close to his two brothers and loved animals.

Susan Geoffroy, Vydfol’s grandmother, said people sometimes judged him because he had tattoos, often dressed in black and wore a baseball hat cocked to the side. But those people missed a gentle and loving young man who was trying hard to improve his lot in life, she said.

“He just had the biggest heart … and the prettiest blue eyes that just smiled,” Geoffroy said. “He just lit up a room when he’d walk in with his hat cocked to the side and a smile on his face.”

Police were called to 157 Bedford Road in Merrimack just before 2 a.m. Sunday for a reported fight and possible stabbing. Officers found that Vydfol had been stabbed in the chest. He was rushed to Southern New Hampshire Medical Center, where he later died.

Geoffroy said Vydfol dropped out of Merrimack High School but was talking about getting his GED and had just moved into his own apartment in Nashua.

“He was just trying really, really hard. He was just trying to grow up,” she said. “Just all in all, a nice, nice loving kid. You couldn’t have asked for a better one. I would have liked to have kept him for another 50 or 60 years.”

A number of Vydfol’s family members live in Nashua, including his parents, Joseph Vydfol and Lorri Geoffroy, his brothers, Joseph Leo Vydfol and Steven Vydfol, according to his obituary. He worked at Joanne’s Kitchen and as a dishwasher and prep cook at Shorty’s Mexican Roadhouse in Nashua. His brother, Joseph Vydfol, is a line cook there.

Nick McBride, a 20-year-old Nashua resident, met Vydfol when he began working at the restaurant and was friends with him and Joseph Vydfol.

“He was a real good kid. It’s really unfortunate what happened,” McBride said. “The real Chris is quiet to people he doesn’t know but really opens up once you get to know him.”

Shorty’s manager Lori Prunier said Vydfol had worked at the restaurant for about four months. He worked hard, she said, and got along well with the rest of the staff. The restaurant is working to set up a fundraising campaign to help the Vydfol family, she said.

“Nice kid. Very quiet. Hard worker. He did a great job,” Prunier said. “It’s been very hard on everybody. Everyone’s very upset.”

McBride was called into work on his day off Sunday to cover for Vydfol. That’s when he learned that his friend had died. “I’ve lost friends before but never under these circumstances. It was just shocking,” McBride said. “Everyone in the restaurant was just in shock.”

The Bedford Road home was still surrounded by crime scene tape and swarming with Merrimack police and New Hampshire State Police Major Crimes Unit troopers Sunday night.

Assistant Attorney General Susan Morrell said Monday that more than a dozen people, mostly in their early 20s, were at the party and are being questioned. She wouldn’t elaborate on what might have led to the incident.

“It’s still under investigation, and we’re still interviewing witnesses,” she said.

The state Attorney General’s office released Vydfol’s autopsy results Monday, which confirmed that he died of a stab wound to the chest. The manner of death was determined to be homicide.

Furgal was arrested Sunday night and charged with second-degree murder. He was arraigned Monday morning.

Morrell wouldn’t elaborate on whether drugs or alcohol played a role, whether there were any parents at the party or if a murder weapon has been recovered.

Robert Brackett, of Merrimack, who didn’t provide his age, identified himself Monday as the host of the party. Although he would not give any details about what happened at the party, he said, “Chris was a good kid. He looked out for his friends.”

Susan Geoffroy said Vydfol’s family is understandably shocked and saddened by his death. “We’re not doing all that great. I think we’re still in shock. I still can’t believe it,” she said. “You shouldn’t have to lose your child or your grandchild first. If I could trade places with him I would.”

Joseph G. Cote can be reached at 594-6415 or jcote@nasuatelegraph.com. Michael Brindley can be reached at 594-6426 or mbrindley@nashuatelegraph.com.