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Victim's family speaks out after one of four recent deaths at Lake Pleasant

Four reported deaths in four weekends at Lake Pleasant
Posted at 11:05 AM, May 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-17 14:05:26-04

PEORIA, AZ — A tragic trend at a Phoenix hotspot — four deaths in four weekends at Lake Pleasant. So, what's being done to keep the lake safe?

"He was an amazing swimmer. He was very athletic. He was probably the most athletic one in the group,” said Cristina Aran. But her brother Neria Aranbayev won't get the chance to swim again. He recently drowned at Lake Pleasant.

The 20-year-old was the first of four people to die in those waters over four consecutive weekends.

RELATED: Body of 18-year-old swimmer recovered at Lake Pleasant

"When we found out he was initially lost in the lake, I was questioning how saying, 'I don't understand,' and asking how this could have happened. He's such a good swimmer,” added Aran.

Svetlana Aranbayev heard from her son's rabbi on April 24.

"Right away, I felt something happened and I asked what happened,” said Aranbayev.

Neria's mom shared her grief.

"I was screaming like crazy and asking, 'what do you mean he got lost?' I knew he was not alive,” added Aranbayev.

Maricopa County Sheriff's Deputies held a discussion Tuesday morning on lake safety.

RELATED: Body pulled from Lake Pleasant after man fails to resurface

"I understand this is a lake people summer in and they enjoy a lot of activities there, but there should be much more supervision,” added Aran.

Investigators have ruled out foul play in Aranbayev's drowning. As for his family, his sisters and mother say they want the lake shut down altogether.

"My issue is not with how old you have to be. My issue is how experienced you have to be,” said Irina Sulay.

Sulay fears even more incidents like this will happen as we head toward summer.

RELATED: 83-year-old dies after being thrown from boat at Lake Pleasant

The loving sister shared one final message she says she knows her brother wanted people to hear.

"Everyone needs to be kinder, more helpful, and more thoughtful with their words and what they are doing in the world,” added Sulay.