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  • Missing basketball coach found dead: Details about the Makuach Yak case explored as police discovers body after a week of investigation
Makuach Yak. (Photo via @nyaalnasir/Twitter)

Missing basketball coach found dead: Details about the Makuach Yak case explored as police discovers body after a week of investigation

A 31-year-old youth basketball coach named Makuach Yak was found dead in Florida after he was reported missing a week ago. Authorities concerned said that Yak was last seen going for a run on May 20, 2023, and disappeared after that. As per the Palm Beach Post, the coach's body was found on May 26 in the Delray Oaks Natural Area, near Delray Beach.

According to ABC News, the Delray Beach police said on a social media post that the 31-year-old's death does not appear to be criminal in nature. However, the investigation is still open and underway.


On May 22, Delray Beach Police shared a missing person tweet by sharing a picture of Yak and looking for clues to locate his appearance.

-MISSING PERSON-Delray Beach police are trying to locate 30-year old Makuach Yak, who walked away from his home Saturday in the 300-block of SW 10th Avenue. If you see him, please call the DBPD at 561-243-7800.

A report was filed after Makuach Yak's roommate realize there was something wrong with him after he did not find him in their home.


Makuach Yak left his belongings at his home


Name: Makuach Paul Yak

Age: 31

Height: 6’3

Weight: 165lbs

Last seen: Saturday May 20th in Delray Beach, FL at 6:38am

Wearing: purple shirt, black shorts, white socks, and black tennis shoes

On May 20, Makuach Yak was captured on security-camera footage leaving his residence on Southwest 10th Avenue in Delray Beach, dressed in workout attire. As of now, this is the last known sighting of Yak.

As per The Palm Beach Post, a man measuring 6 feet and 4 inches in height and weighing 160 pounds was spotted wearing a purple T-shirt, black running shorts, long white socks, and black sneakers.

Tate VanRoekel, his friend and business partner, told the police just two hours later after he went running, he was supposed to pick Yak up to take him to a basketball game.


However, when his roommate came, he was not at home. According to his friends, his wallet, keys, smartphone, and Apple Watch were still present. Since he disappeared, his items had remained undisturbed and untouched.

Please if you’re in the #DelRayBeach area of Florida, join the search party Coach Makuach Yak! As you know, @NAACP just put out a travel advisory for Black People/POC!! Share the info, spread the word & continue to pray on his safe return!! #BringMakuachHome

Since Yak's disappearance, his friends and family have searched the city as well as Boynton Beach and Boca Raton, according to Delray police spokesman Ted White.

After the news of his demise was told to his family, Yak's sister Nyalang, set up a GoFundMe page to help the family with his funeral arrangements.

"Makuach's untimely departure has left his family shattered, confused and their hearts burdened with an indescribable sorrow. The loss of a child, a sibling, a friend is a pain that words cannot fully express. It is in these moments of profound grief that we must rally together, enveloping the family in love and compassion to help them navigate the difficult days ahead."

Brief background on Makuach Yak's life

It is with great sadness to announce that Makuach Yak, 31, was found deceased this evening inside the Delray Oaks Natural Area. Right now, it appears his death is not criminal in nature. The medical examiner will determine the cause of death. The investigation remains open.

As per a profile published by the Des Moines Register in 2018, Makuach Yak's family shifted to the United States from Sudan when he was eight. His family initially relocated to Nashville, then spent three months in Minneapolis. When he was in the seventh grade, his family made Iowa their permanent home. He evolved into a great basketball player while his parents, according to the newspaper, worked at a facility that processed chicken.

As per his profile, Yak always aspired to be in long-distance running. He ran in cross country at Augustana University in South Dakota and graduated from the institution in 2015.

He relocated to Colorado so he could play for Boulder's Hudson Elite club team. Yak was a part-time employee of a company that created solar-powered smartphone charging stations. He moved to South Florida after the 2020 Summer Olympics were delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

He then became involved with M.T. Athletics, an association that organizes basketball training programs and competitions for young people to play in the United States, Ethiopia, Uganda, and South Sudan.s

Edited by
Nikita Nikhil
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