Who is Pau Khai? Boy, 12, mysteriously dies in pool hours after camp organizers checked on him
NEW FREEDOM, PENNSYLVANIA: A 12-year-old boy was found dead at the Summit Grove campground in New Freedom, Pennsylvania on Thursday, June 30. The body of Pau Khai, an American of Burmese descent was discovered in a pool at the campground after the boy went missing for more than ten hours. The camp said they followed the normal swimming hour timing from 3:30 pm until 6 pm before he went missing. According to Ted Czech, York County acting director of Communications, Khai was wearing a white T-shirt and black-and-green swim trunks at the time of death.
ABC-affiliate WHTM reported Khai was found missing at 3:45 pm on Wednesday, June 29, and was not located until 2 am the next day. The12-year-old was a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Lancaster and was attending a three-day church-sponsored junior high retreat. The camp claimed that Westminster Presbyterian Church organizers checked the pool for Pau before calling 911 and lodged a missing person complaint at 11:45 pm.
CBS21 reported that one of the campers saw the 12-year-old walking down a gravel road and heading towards the entrance of the camp. An autopsy performed on July 1, revealed accidental drowning to be the cause of death.
“We have to take every precaution and treat everything as seriously as it could possibly be just in case, but at this point, we have no information that it’s anything other than an accident," said Regional Police Chief James Boddington, as per WHTM. He further added, "But we’re certainly going to look into every aspect just to make sure."
Summit Grove shared a statement on its Facebook page explaining: "Westminster Presbyterian Church organizers reportedly cleared the pool and were headed to the next activity when they noticed Pau was missing." "Our thoughts and prayers remain with the Khai family, Pau’s friends, and the Westminster Presbyterian Church community as we continue to collectively mourn and process this devastating loss. Nothing is more important to Summit Grove than the health and wellbeing of all who utilize the campus. We thank you for your continued support of Pau’s family, the Westminster Presbyterian Church community, and Summit Grove during this most difficult time. Anyone who wishes to support the Khai family should contact Westminster Presbyterian Church of Lancaster," the statement concluded.
Khai had two brothers and he was the oldest of the three. Ty Fischer, the headmaster at Veritas Academy where Pau was enrolled in school, remembered Pau for his hard work. A teacher at Westminster Presbyterian Church recounted Pau as loving Legos and "an active member of the youth group."