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Family says Columbus man fell off cliff in Puerto Rico shooting social media videos

Edgar Garay, 27, was on a day trip to the southwestern coast of Puerto Rico when a witness said they saw him stumble toward the edge of the cliff Sunday evening.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The cliff by the lighthouse at Cabo Rojo in Puerto Rico is a beautiful tourist destination, but can be dangerous for those who venture too close to the edge of the steep cliff. 

Twenty-seven-year-old Edgar Garay of Columbus, Indiana, fell 70 feet to his death Sunday afternoon. The U.S. Coast Guard and Puerto Rico Emergency Bureau dive unit located and recovered Garay’s submerged body Monday afternoon. 

Carlos Garay mourns 1,800 miles away in Columbus. Carlos said everyone called his younger brother "Chuwey."

"Our friends would refer to him, because of his fluffy cheeks, as being ‘Chuwey.’ It just kind of stuck," Carlos said, chuckling in the midst of his grief. 

Carlos said Chuwey was full of life and a bit of a daredevil. A cousin took Edgar sightseeing in Cabo Rojo Sunday. Carlos said the cousin warned Edgar repeatedly not to get to close to the edge of the cliff. 

"My brother has a TikTok account that he loved to upload videos to," said Carlos. "Unfortunately, that was what he was trying to do when he was closer to the edge than he should have been." 

Coast Guard rescue units ended their search for a man who fell off a 70-foot coastal cliff near the lighthouse in Cabo...

Posted by U.S. Coast Guard Sector San Juan on Monday, January 30, 2023

Carlos said the cousin was walking away from the edge of the cliff about 5:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon. When the cousin looked back, Edgar was gone. The Coast Guard joined the search about 6:50 p.m. A helicopter conducted multiple search patterns into the night.  

Credit: Carlos Garay

Carlos said Edgar’s body was recovered from an underwater cave in the cliff. Carlos said Edgar’s injuries included massive head injuries in the fall.

Edgar was born in Puerto Rico, but his family moved to Columbus when he was about 5 years old. He graduated Columbus North High School. His family wants to bring him home for Columbus to be his final resting place.

"It’s very unfortunate because he's not very well known over there," said Carlos. "He was just visiting. So, for him to be laid and his final resting place somewhere miles upon miles away from here is just awful and devastating."

Credit: Carlos Garay

The family hopes to raise enough money through a GoFundMe fundraiser to bring Chuwey home.   

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