Toddler Found Dead In N.J. Septic Tank

DA: Child Was Playing With Siblings In The Yard And Just Wandered Off

Updated at 12:50 a.m., March 13, 2012

LAKEWOOD, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Authorities said a southern New Jersey toddler who went missing from her home on Monday afternoon was found dead in a nearby septic tank hours later.

Lakewood police said the 2-year-old, whose name was not released, was found shortly after 8 p.m.

The discovery ended a roughly three-hour search by township police, an Ocean County Sheriff’s Department canine unit and a state police helicopter.

It was not immediately known how the child got into the septic tank or how long she was inside it. Authorities said the girl’s mother, Marina Matias, had reported her missing from their East Spruce Street home at around 4:50 p.m., reports CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez.

Ocean County Prosecutor Marlene Lynch Ford released the following statement in connection with an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death:

“The search teams found a small approximately 3 foot wide hole in the yard, apparently to a septic tank, and called in the Lakewood Township Public Works Department to pump out the water in the tank. At approximately 7:30 p.m., the water level had been dropped and police and emergency personnel unfortunately made visual observation of the body of a child in that tank.

“At this time, emergency crews are working to carefully remove the body from the tank. The family has been informed and is understandably distraught over this turn of events. Dr. Brodsky of the Ocean County Medical Examiners Office is on the scene for the purposes of examining the body. At this time no pronouncement has been made subject to the ability of Dr. Brodsky to make a medical examination.”

According to the DA, the missing child had been playing in the yard with her four siblings when she apparently fell down the hole into the septic tank. Matias told investigators the family had no idea the septic tank hole was even on the property.

Investigators were still trying to determine who was responsible for the hole.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • George Gonzales

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  • septictank

    Guten Tag, dieser Beitrag über das Themengebiet septictank ist wirklich sehr interessant. War mir eine Freude diesen Post zu lesen. Danke und liebe Grüße, Stefanie.

  • Mr. Whitey

    How the fk do you leave a 2 year old out in the yard with no adult supervision?
    I have a 2 year old and i dont even let them play in another room, yet alone outside.

    Charge the mother with child endagerment. 10-15 years in the pen.

    • OX

      That is how the Hasidics live. I lived there 20 years. 2 year olds playign in the street with a 4 year old wathcing them. No adult around for hours and hours. Pathetic!!!!!!!!!

  • Kristin

    How can you possibly not know a THREE FOOT hole is in your yard? That’s a pretty big freaking hole to miss!

  • JWB

    tts not whats wrong with the country just some of the people that infest it.

  • Tee Pee

    I’m sorry. my condolences to the family; but i don’t buy this BS! I am a mother of 3 which includes a 4year old and if she is in another room(IN THE SAME HOUSE) too long , I’m checking on her. I would not buy this story with someone else’s money. May the princess RIP;-((

  • Bullett

    I’m still trying to understand how this little 2 year old is out playing with her siblings, and no one noticed her missing?!?!?!

  • rafiah

    cannot just leave toddler outside the house without adult look after them.

  • neetie

    how can you NOT know there is a septic tank in your yard???

  • kjhjkhjh

    5 kids, no adult present…hmmmmm…bruthas?

  • chris

    “According to the DA, the missing child had been playing in the yard with her four siblings when she apparently fell down the hole into the septic tank.”

    what kind of BS is there???? then why did it take hours to find her then if the other siblings could of just told the parents they sister fell down the tank?
    something is fishy here.. anyway what a terrible thing to happen to that poor girl. and if the parents are innocent , then wow, there life will never be the same. parts of them have died today..

  • Cathy

    This is just terrible. So sad to hear this. Makes me sick.

  • meredith

    What is wrong with this country?

    • Goldbugs

      What do you mean?

  • April Quist

    This is Heart Wrenching My prayers to the Family!

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