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Identities of father, two sons who died in canoe accident released

Nov. 14, 2022 Updated Mon., Nov. 14, 2022 at 8:46 p.m.

Tri-City Herald

Tri-City Herald

The identities of an Othello father and two sons who drowned in a tragic canoe accident have been released after their bodies were recovered over the weekend.

The Grant County Sheriff’s office spent most of the weekend searching for the bodies of the family after they went missing on a canoe fishing trip at one of the seep lakes of the Columbia National Wildlife Refuge in Grant County, Washington. The refuge is about 55 miles north of Pasco.

Family members went looking for Miguel Porfirio De Dios, 32, and his three sons Friday night when they did not return home after an outing. They found a 10-year-old boy on the shore at 11 p.m. and called for help, according to the Grant County Sheriff’s Office.

The boy made it to shore after the canoe capsized sometime before nightfall, according to the sheriff’s office.

He was hospitalized for treatment of hypothermia at Samaritan Healthcare in Moses Lake. Sheriff’s office spokesman Kyle Foreman said the boy was treated and released on Saturday.

“They did not have any life jackets, and certainly the cold weather played a role,” Foreman said. “It really was just a terrible accident, the canoe overturned and they were all put in the water. He may have been out there for about seven hours, he was very lucky himself.”

Foreman said it was about 20 degrees outside when the boy was found.

Early Saturday morning the body of 8-year-old William Porfirio Maldonado was recovered. Dive teams and emergency responders from around the region continued the search.

Columbia Basin Dive Rescue from the Tri-Cities was searching the water and a drone was being used to scan the water and the shoreline, according to the sheriff’s office. The family and dozens of others came to the wildlife refuge to show support.

The bodies of Porfirio De Dios and his 6-year-old son, Oliver, were recovered just before 3 p.m. on Sunday. The Grant County Coroner’s Office has scheduled autopsies for early this week.

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