Myanmar refugee teen drowns while swimming outside Kansas City

Death was ruled accidental

July 11, 2018 - 5:57 pm

A teenager who recently arrived with his family to the U.S. as refugees from Myanmar has drowned in a lake outside Kansas City.

Om Kee Hata, 17, drowned Friday while swimming with friends in Hillsdale Lake. Miami County Capt. Mike Talcott says the death was an accident and that the teen "got tired, went under and didn't come back up."

Friends and teachers say Hata arrived in the U.S. last year with his mother and four younger siblings, leaning heavily on soccer and faith. The Christian family fled religious persecution in Myanmar, a predominantly Muslim country.

Hata's funeral services will be held Saturday. The community has created a GoFundMe page in hopes of raising $20,000 to support his mother and siblings.

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