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Colorado Peace Corps Worker's Family Meets With Panama President After Tragedy

By Alan Gionet

PANAMA CITY, Panama (CBS4) - Family members are bringing the body of Peace Corps volunteer Cody Oser of Broomfield back to the United States on Thursday as his family prepares for his memorial.

Cody Oser
Cody Oser (credit: CBS)

24-year-old Oser, a Colorado State University graduate with a civil engineering degree, was found dead in a stream in the Comarca Ngäbe Bugle region near David, Panama on April 8, where he'd been working on a project to bring clean water to indigenous people.

His family says he slipped on some rocks and fell into the water after striking his head. There is no evidence of foul play and the death is considered accidental.

"(He was) the most selfless individual I ever met and had a mission from the moment I met him when he was 9 years old to help people in the world," his brother-in-law Jamie Gilroy said.

On Wednesday, Oser's mother, sister and brother met with the president of Panama at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama City, where over 100 other Peace Corps volunteers gathered to support the family.

Family members say President Juan Carlos Varela told the family he will name a school for Cody Oser, is dedicating the upcoming Special Olympics in his honor and promises to finish the projects Cody started.

Cody Oser's father Steven has told CBS4 the family is working on establishing a scholarship program for civil engineering at CSU.

Memorial services are being planned for April 21 at the Nativity Church on Midway in Broomfield.

Alan Gionet is anchor of the CBS4 Morning News and reports on a wide variety of issues and "Good Question" stories. He started at CBS4 in 1994. Follow Alan on Twitter @AlanGTV.

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