The body of a missing Indian man, Avinash Kuna, 32, of Parsippany, NJ, who went missing after he stepped off a boat for a swim in Lake Hopatcong last weekend, was found by divers on Monday, according to media reports.
NJ Advance Media reported Kuna’s body was recovered shortly after 6 p.m. from the waters in Henderson Cove, N.J. State Police said in a statement Tuesday morning.
Kuna was last seen on Saturday morning when he entered the water from a pontoon boat and submerged without resurfacing, state police said.
The software engineer, who friends say dreamed of being an entrepreneur, was celebrating his birthday with friends on the rented boat, according to a GoFundMe page created to raise money to send Kuna’s body back to India and help his family financially, said the NJ Advance Media report.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Avinash Kuna during this difficult time,” state police said in the statement.
Jay Majeti, who created the GoFundMe page, thanked law enforcement for their efforts.
“After 3 days of relentless efforts, local police and rescue teams have identified Avinash’s body. Waiting for investigation and autopsy to be completed,” Majeti wrote in an update. “We thank you all for your prayers and support so far and request you to please continue to share the campaign to help Avinash’s family.”
As of Tuesday morning, the GoFundMe had raised nearly $38,000.
The friends who were with Kuna said when he stepped off the boat he screamed that something was trying to grab him, said the NJ Advance Media report. Attempts to pull him to safety were unsuccessful and he went under, state police said.
A woman who witnessed Kuna entering the water shot video of the emergency response that took place afterward. She said the swimmer panicked and “fell out of his vest” and went under water.
Kira Sudol, 36, a resident who boats at the lake, said the area where Kuna went into the water is not suited for swimming, said the Advance report.
According to Kuna’s Facebook page, he works as a systems programmer for UPS and is founder of a software development company.
His friends described Kuna as someone who cared deeply for his friends and family and had recently begun working and sending money home to India.
“He had high ambitions in life, to become an entrepreneur, give back to the society, travel places around the globe,” the friends said.
Daily Voice reported that Jay Majeti wrote on the GoFundMe page that money was being raised for Kuna’s family back home in India, “who have restlessly worked for Avinash’s successful career.”
“Avinash is one of the very few people being loved by all his associates for his plain hearted nature and willingness to help others,” Majeti wrote.
“He always cared for well-being of fellow people and the society. He had high ambitions in life, to become an entrepreneur, give back to the society, travel places around the globe etc.
“Knowing about this incident, his mother has been hospitalized in India. In this need of the hour, we kindly request your prayers for him and his family,” Majeti wrote.