Janesville70.2°

Boy who drowned in pond still not officially identified

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Carla McCann
January 19, 2008
— A steady flow of traffic passed by Mill Pond on Main Street Thursday afternoon.

But motorists couldn’t see the pond adjacent to Cravath Lakefront Park below the bridge. Apparently, neither walkers, nor people parking their vehicles in a nearby city lot looked at the pond either.


It wasn’t until about 4:15 p.m. Thursday that two Whitewater police officers found the body of a 9-year-old boy floating in the pond’s open water, said police Chief Jim Coan.


As of Friday evening, Whitewater Police had not released the boy’s name to any media, Coan said.


The child’s body was recovered by two officers searching the shoreline.


One of the officers stepped into the frigid water to hoist the boy to the other officer standing on shore. The child was immediately transported by the Whitewater Rescue Squad to Fort Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.


“Although the investigation is continuing, this appears to be an accidental drowning,” Coan said. “It is presumed that at some point in time and place the boy fell through the ice while crossing the lake.”


Friends of the boy told police that the boy had walked across the lake Wednesday, Coan said.


The pond is a flowage from Cravath Lake. Despite freezing temperatures Thursday night, the pond had lots of open water and only a thin layer of ice Friday morning.


The boy was a third grader at Washington Elementary School.


He was well liked by his school friends and teachers, said Principal Tom Grosinske.


“He was a great kid,” Grosinske said. “He always had a smile on his face. He was a happy boy.”


The boy’s teacher, Kathleen Dunham, also has fond memories of the child who smiled easily.


“One day, he brought me an apple and set it on my desk,” Dunham said. “It was the sweetest gesture. When he saw how happy it made me, he brought me an apple every day for the next week and set it on my desk.”


And each time he had a huge grin, Dunham said.


“He would do anything to make the people around him smile,” Dunham said.



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