Sturgeon toddler drowns in family pool

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 | 7:10 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — A 2 1/2-year-old Sturgeon girl drowned in her family's pool Monday afternoon.

The toddler was at home in the 20700 block of North Barnes Road with her mother, the mother's friend and several other children, said Maj. Tom Reddin, a spokesman for the Boone County Sheriff's Department. The children had all been put down for a nap.

After discovering the toddler's play crib was empty shortly before 3 p.m. Monday, the mother and her friend immediately began looking for the girl. The two spent five to 10 minutes searching the house before finding the girl in the above-ground pool in the backyard, Reddin said.

It is unknown how long the girl had been in the water when the adults found her, said Capt. Martina Pounds of the Boone County Fire Protection District.

After finding the child, the mother called 911 at 2:43 p.m. and tried reviving her by following CPR instructions from the 911 operator. Fire District crews were the first to arrive on scene and took over CPR until a Staff for Life helicopter arrived and flew the girl to the MU Women's and Children's Hospital in Columbia.

She was pronounced dead at the hospital, Pounds said.

It's believed that the child woke up from her nap and walked out to the house's back porch and then climbed the stairs to the above-ground pool, Pounds said. It's unclear whether she fell in or tried to get in by herself. The children at the home had been playing in the pool together earlier that day, Reddin said. 

The Boone County Sheriff's Department is investigating the child's death, Reddin said. But there's no evidence that foul play was involved as of Tuesday afternoon, and Reddin called the event "a tragic accident."

Both Reddin and Pounds declined to identify the child or her family on Tuesday to protect their privacy. 

Supervising editor is Edward Hart.

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