Boy believed drowned off San Diego was Syrian refugee

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A 17-year-old boy presumed drowned off the San Diego coast had just immigrated to the area after escaping war-torn Syria.           

Mohammed al-Mustafa disappeared Sunday while swimming with friends during a strong rip current at Mission Beach.          

His distraught father, Husan al-Mustafa, told the San Diego Union-Tribune Tuesday that the boy had just been getting accustomed to his new home El Cajon, thanks in part to the city's close-knit Syrian community. Al-Mustafa said through a translator that it was his son's first-ever trip to a beach.           

The family fled Aleppo in mid-2014 and spent a few years in Turkey before arriving in California in January.

The teen's body has not been recovered. Helicopter and boat crews searched the waters for days after his friends reported him missing.


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