US: AP techie, 3-yr son drown in pool, crowdfunding to send bodies home

New York: In a tragic incident, a 31-year-old engineer from Andhra Pradesh and his son died after drowning in the swimming pool of an apartment complex in a Michigan town.

Nagaraju Surepalli and his 3-year-old son Ananth Surepalli were found unresponsive on Tuesday in the pool at the Glens of Northville apartment complex in Novi, according to Novi Police Chief David Molloy.

A report in the Oakland Press said Surepalli hailed from the city of Guntur in Andhra Pradesh. He was a software engineer and had come to the US three years ago on a work visa.

The Oakland County Medical Examiner’s Office performed autopsies on Thursday. Surepalli is survived by his 29-year-old wife Bindu.

The report added that a staff member at the complex, working at the office near the pool, called 911 after observing two bodies floating in the pool, Novi police say.

Surepalli and his son were playing poolside when the child accidentally fell into the deep end of the pool while riding his tricycle.

Surepalli jumped into the pool to try and save his son but drowned, the report added. They were the only people in the pool area. The two were pulled from the pool and taken to a local hospital in Novi after emergency responders attempted lifesaving procedures.

The report said investigators and relatives of the victims have been working with the Consulate General of India in Chicago and New York to assist in family notification overseas and funeral arrangements.

Surepalli’s friends have also started an online effort to collect USD 150,000 for the family to meet the funeral and other costs. In the post organisers of the fundraiser called Surepalli, “the most jovial, honest, friendly person you would ever meet and always smiling”.

“In the midst of this tragedy, we have set up this fund to help them with the funeral expenses and other ongoing grief/recovery support costs. This includes the very expensive process of carrying their mortal remains back to India,” organisers wrote.