Search for victims (GCSO)
Search for victims (GCSO)


The identities of a father and two sons who died in a tragic canoe accident on Friday at the Columbia National Wildlife Refuge have been released.

  Man, whose sons died, presumably drowned, when their canoe capsized

The Grant County Sheriff's Office originally reported:

"The father, age 32, and his three sons ages six, eight, and ten from Othello went to a seep lake at the Columbia Wildlife Refuge south of SR 262 to go fishing. Sometime before nightfall their canoe capsized. The ten year old was able to make it to shore but the father and two siblings did not resurface."

A multitude of searchers swarmed the area from Friday night, through Sunday, when the bodies of the eight and six-year-old as well as the father were recovered.



Late Sunday, the GCSO released the identities of those who drowned in the accident. The father was Miguel Porfirio De Dios, and the six-year-old Oliver Porfirio Maldonado. They were found Sunday. The eight-year-old, identified as William Porfirio Maldonado, was found on Saturday.

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According to the GCSO, the ten-year-old who was able to swim to shore endured at least 7 hours of overnight cold before being found by his family. He was taken to Samaritan Healthcare in Moses Lake, and is now with other family members.

  No mention was made of victims wearing life jackets

We do not know if any of the victims were wearing life jackets, more information is expected to be released as the investigation continues.

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