They played together and prayed together — and early Tuesday morning, they died together at Santa Fe Lake in Butler County.
Augusta Director of Public Safety Tyler Brewer identified the four men found in a 15-passenger van as Michael C. Williams, 61; Robert H. Moses, 55; Paul E. Stilwell, 57; and Donald L. Wescott Jr., 46.
A park caretaker found them shortly after 10 a.m. Blood tests confirmed the men died of carbon monoxide poisoning, Brewer said.
They had turned on the 1993 Ford van to ward off the overnight chill.
"They left the van running, and there must be an exhaust leak somewhere," Brewer said. "The caretaker doesn't like people sleeping in their cars just for this reason."
Williams, Moses and Stilwell had been staying at the Union Rescue Mission in Wichita "for quite some time, off and on," Brewer said, and listed the mission as their home. Wescott listed his home address as one in south Wichita.
Williams bought the van from the mission nearly a year ago, director Marsha Stanyer said.
"That's not that unusual," Stanyer said. "A lot of guys ask if we ever have vehicles for sale that we no longer need."
The men likely went to the lake to take advantage of the nice weather, she said.
News of the men's deaths has hit regulars at the mission pretty hard, Stanyer said.
"They were really close friends and they hung out together a lot," she said of the victims. "They were all super-neat guys. They'll be sorely missed."
The men participated in the mission's chapel programs, Stanyer said, and other residents were drawing some solace from that.
"Hopefully, they've gone to be with the Lord," she said.