1-year-old drowns in fountain

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 12, 2012

By Shavonne Potts
Authorities say a 1-year-old boy drowned in a neighbor’s cement yard fountain Tuesday afternoon after going missing from his eastern Rowan County home.
The child’s family lived in a mobile home on Rockwood Drive, off Artz Road near Faith. He was found a few houses away on Rockwood Drive.
Rowan County Sheriff’s Capt. Tim Wyrick said the child, whose name has not been released, was “missing for an undetermined amount of time.”
Someone called 911 around 1:40 p.m.
The home where the child lived was situated at the end of the property, where about a dozen other mobile homes were located. About a dozen emergency vehicles and unmarked cars were parked along the narrow gravel road as well as on the lawn of nearby homes. A member of the Rowan County Rescue Squad moved a large rescue squad vehicle across the gravel drive in an effort to shield the view of onlookers.
Detectives interviewed several people at scene and awaited a crime scene investigator who would then collect evidence and take pictures.
Neighbors gathered at the scene, some holding their own children, and others waiting for their children to return from school.
As investigators and emergency crews began leaving the scene, an unidentified woman drove up to the neighbor’s home at 155 Rockwood Drive, where the child was found. She hugged a young man who had not too long ago been talking to detectives. It was unclear if the woman and young man were relatives or neighbors.
The neighbors who found the child and other relatives who arrived at the home after the drowning declined to comment.
A neighbor who declined to give her name said she believed the child had been with the father at a neighbor’s house.
The neighbor said the boy’s mother arrived home from work and ran up the street looking for the child.
The neighbor said she called 911, but dispatchers told her someone else had already called and help was on the way. She didn’t believe the family had lived at the house for a long time.
Another neighbor found the child in the fountain and performed CPR at the instruction of 911 communicators.
According to a statement released by the sheriff’s office at 7:48 p.m, the sheriff’s office went to the home at 1:25 p.m. Tuesday in response to a call made to 911 from 165 Rockwood Drive, reporting a missing 1-year-old child. The statement said the investigation will not be complete until a report is filed with the state Medical Examiner’s Office. The release also said there were unsuccessful attempts made to save the child’s life.
When emergency services personnel arrived at the home they took over CPR, but were unable to revive the boy, Wyrick said.
The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office is investigating.
The following agencies responded to the scene: Bostian Heights Fire Department, Granite Quarry-Faith Police Authority, Rowan County Rescue Squad, Rowan County EMS.
No other information was available as Tuesday evening.
Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.