21-year-old Boise man is second refugee to drown in Quinn’s Pond since 2017

On Monday afternoon, the Ada County Coroner’s Office identified a 21-year-old Boise man whose body was found in Quinn’s Pond on Saturday evening. He’s the second refugee to drown there since 2017.

The man, whose body was found in the popular Boise swimming spot around 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, has been identified as Patrick Bunguke. He was pronounced dead at 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, according to a coroner’s report.

Bunguke’s official cause and manner of death have not been determined, the report said. Both are pending toxicology results, which could take several weeks to return.

The coroner’s office and Boise Police Department are investigating Bunguke’s death as a drowning. They do not expect foul play. Bunguke was last seen by family and friends last Wednesday, Aug. 14. Boise police said Sunday that they believed the man’s body had been in the water for some time.

Jodi Larson-Farrow, integration specialist with the Agency for New Americans, confirmed Monday afternoon that Bunguke was a refugee. The nonprofit refugee resettlement agency helped him come to Boise about a year and a half ago.

Larson-Farrow said burial costs are weighing heavily on Bunguke’s family. A family member created a GoFundMe campaign to offset the expenses, and the ANA is accepting donations as well. Larson-Farrow said donors can specify that they would like their donations to go toward Bunguke’s funeral costs.

“We’re deeply saddened by Patrick’s loss, and we’re working with his family to get burial costs covered,” Larson-Farrow said in a phone interview. “It’s very different in different cultures when people pass, so that’s been the hardest thing for them.”

She said costs for his burial are expected to be around $5,000.

According to the GoFundMe page, Bunguke and his family fled from the war in Bukavu, a city in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. He lived as a refugee in Uganda for many years before coming to Boise.

Bunguke became the second refugee to drown at Quinn’s Pond since 2017, when a 15-year-old boy from the Democratic Republic of Congo drowned just nine days after resettling in Boise. Hundreds of people turned out for Dieudonne Eca’s funeral in July 2017.

This is a breaking news report. We’ll update this story as we learn more.

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