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Family of 5-year-old boy who drowned to hold fundraiser, warns of fake fundraiser

Posted at 5:05 PM, Apr 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-10 23:33:36-04

There’s an opportunity this weekend to help the family of a five-year-old who drowned last weekend.

The family could use some help with funeral expenses.  As sad as it is to be burying a five-year-old, it’s what the Barrientes family is facing right now.

Little Ryu Barrientes died over the weekend.  He drowned in an apartment complex swimming pool.  Corpus Christi Police say the boy had been at a birthday party nearby.  Around 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, a group of kids found him in the pool at the Saratoga Cove apartments near the intersection of Wooldridge and Staples.

He was unconscious when a 9-year-old pulled him out of the water.  Some of the kids performed CPR on him until help arrived.  He passed away at the hospital.  Police tell us they are continuing to investigate the incident.


Ryu’s family hopes police also investigate some fake fundraising they say a scammer is up to. The boy’s aunt Jessica Duran says once news reports of Ryu’s drowning started running, a man went to the Stripes convenience store at Port and Mary in Corpus Christi. He had plates of barbecue with him, and he told the clerk he was raising money for Ruy’s family so they could cover funeral costs. Duran says the clerk bought three plates for $10 apiece. The man left but has never contacted Ruy’s family.

The Better Business Bureau says it sees scams like this often. BBB Regional Director Kelly Trevino says if you ask lots of questions, you will likely be able to figure out if the person claiming to be fundraising for a good cause is legitimate or not.

“You need to verify those things,” Trevino said. “If you can’t, then you shouldn’t give your money.”


Ryu’s family is now faced with funeral costs they never could have seen coming.  That’s why there’s a fundraiser for the family coming up on Saturday. It starts at 11 a.m. at Boozers along SPID and Weber.  The fundraiser runs until the food runs out.


Ryu’s funeral services will be next week. The viewing will be Monday, April 15, at Saxet Funeral Home on 4001 Leopard Street from 4-9 p.m. His funeral will be Tuesday, April 16, at St. Joseph Catholic Church on 710 S. 19th Street at 10 a.m.