The Liberty County Sheriff’s dispatcher received a call at 12:33 pm, this date, from the Grandmother of a 4-year-old little boy whom she reported as being “missing” from the residence in the 4500 block of Private Road 4501 near Dayton. Veteran Dispatcher Bonnie Bishop calmly and methodically questioned the caller asking if the family had checked the ponds, ditches and even in the house to assure the child was not there. The caller assured Ms. Bishop they were doing that at this time as the child had been “missing” for at least 15 minutes prior to calling the Sheriff’s Department.
While talking to the Grandmother, Dispatcher Bishop dispatched a unit to the scene while she continued to obtain useful information for the responding units.
While continuing to obtain more information, Dispatcher Bishop received a “911” call on another line from Ms. Virginia Maddox who requested an ambulance to that same vicinity. When ask why the ambulance was needed and for an exact location, the caller reported that a baby was found in a pond of water.
Dispatcher Bishop then immediately broadcast this additional information to the responding units. Sgt. Investigator Joel Davila and Sgt. Investigator Chris Ungles, who happened to be working another case in the nearby area, responded to the new location of Indigo Rd. and PR 4501 where it was reported the pond was located. Both Sergeants arrived before the patrol units where the child’s father was standing on the shore pointing to where his son was.
Both Sgt. Davila and Sgt. Ungles dived into the 10’ deep pond and swam approximately 30’ out into the pond where the child was located. He was then lifted to the shore where the Sergeants immediately began CPR.
The CPR continued until the Liberty County EMT’s arrived and took the child into the ambulance and began additional medical assistance but in spite of all efforts by the Sergeants as well as the EMT’s, the child failed to respond and was deceased at the scene. According to Patrol Sgt. Darrell Elliott, it is possible the child had been in the water for 30 to 40 minutes before he was found. This time frame includes the 15 minute delay in the call to the Sheriff’s dispatcher. Justice of the Peace, Pct. 4, Judge Barry Graves was called to the scene to conduct his investigation of the drowning.
The investigation is continuing into all circumstances of this drowning by the Liberty County Sheriff’s Department.