By Juli McDonald

CONCORD (CBS) – A young Concord woman and her boyfriend died in Puerto Rico this month, after being swept away in a flash flood during a sightseeing tour.

Maya Robinson and Mark Keffer were on a long weekend anniversary trip. They had much to celebrate: graduation from Georgetown this year, new jobs in New York City, and four years of dating.

“She was always working on something. Every holiday, every time we went anywhere. She just didn’t get a break. I know that’s what Mark was probably trying to do. Give her a little break and do something special,” Robinson’s mother, Duana Hamilton said.

The accident happened just hours into their trip. Their guide was rescued from the Espiritu Santo River and hospitalized. Hamilton isn’t sure that person was licensed. But Hamilton added that even in her own grief, she feels worse for the world; as this couple was destined for greatness.

Mark Keffer and Maya Robinson (Family photo)

“I don’t want her life to be in vain. Or Mark’s. These were really good kids that we lost. Future leaders… She was concerned about giving back. She was concerned about people who were less fortunate than her. It hurts that someone so good is gone. I don’t understand it,” Hamilton said.

Their bright, young lives were cut tragically short. And now Hamilton feels called to effect change, and give back, for them.

“I want to see conditions improve in Puerto Rico. To know that our children are safe when they travel. I want to do something to make their lives matter,” Hamilton said.

Concord is eager to support the family as they plan Maya’s services, and a GoFundMe page has been set up. Hamilton said she’d use that generosity to do good in her daughter’s name.

Juli McDonald


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