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      Family of drowning victim grateful for support

      The whole Koite family has gathered in Harlingen after flying in from Chicago.

      It's not the family reunion they had ever imagined, they are here to bury one of their siblings.

      His brother was shocked when he heard what happened.

      Kean Koite was a local musician in Harlingen who took every opportunity to enjoy life.

      He loved his bass and played with several bands, his brother said. He was no stranger to South Padre Island, in fact, his family says he loved the beach. So when he had the opportunity to go last week, he was excited.

      "He was so happy to be on the island," his brother said.

      But Kean would never come back home. He went for a late swim and wasn't seen again, that is until his body washed up on shore the next morning.

      "He went out in the water that night and he was missing the next day. My cousins went looking for him and then we got the news that his body washed up," his brother said. Now his family is planning his funeral and very surprised at the outpouring of support from the community.

      Hop Shop held a fundraiser for Koite yesterday.

      "We were so grateful to see so many people come out. They raised $700 for my brother's funeral expenses. We really needed that," the drowning victim's brother said. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Thomae Garza Funeral Home in San Benito with services planned for Wednesday.