Kenyan engineer and his daughter, 11, drown in Lake Whitney, Texas

Ben Nzavi (inset) drowned as he tried to rescue his daughter in Lake Whitney, TX
Ben Nzavi (inset) drowned as he tried to rescue his daughter in Lake Whitney, TX

A Kenyan engineer and his daughter drowned in Lake Whitney, Texas on Saturday and their bodies recovered by the Hill County Texas officials.

According to Morgan’s Point’s Police Chief Fred Churchill and the Hill County Sheriff’s Office, the drownings happened around 11.30am.

Benjamin Nzavi’s 11 year old daughter ran into the water to swim in Lake Whitney and fell into a void and went under.


Nzavi is said to have gone into the water to rescue her but he also did not resurface.

A boater called 911 after he tried to rescue both victims and failed.

Texas Game Wardens, Hill County Sheriff’s Office, and Morgan’s Point Resort Police conducted a search beginning about 2.45pm which went on until nightfall.

Due to poor visibility, the search for their bodies was conducted by touch.


The search was called off late Saturday night and resumed on Sunday morning when the bodies were recovered.

The family had just moved to the area a couple of weeks ago and were living a short distance from where their bodies were recovered.

Nzavi was a ballistics engineer in Milford, Texas. He graduated with a degree in Chemical Engineering while minoring in explosives engineering. At the time of his death, he was pursuing a masters in explosives engineering at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.

The name of his daughter has not yet been released as she is a minor.

Nzavi’s wife Schivonne had arrived in the US few weeks ago from the UK. She is currently expecting their child and about 14 weeks along. She does not know any Kenyan here in the US by virtue of her being here for just a few months.

Various groups are however charting a course of action to assist her as she goes through this difficult tragedy.

His church in Hillboro-Church on the Hill-are giving through a special offering fund and various Kenyan groups are Dallas and the surrounding vicinity are pledging to support Schivonne and family.