Authorities: No One Noticed 21-Month-Old Was Missing Until It Was Too Late

EAST ISLIP, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Fourth of July celebrations turned to tragedy for one family on Long Island.

A 21-month-old — identified by police as Byron McArthur — drowned in an above-ground backyard pool around 12:40 p.m. Wednesday on Laurel Avenue in East Islip.

The toddler climbed up the ladder of the family’s backyard pool and fell in, police said. He was found at the bottom of the pool by a family member.

1010 WINS’ Gary Baumgarten reports

When authorities arrived at the scene, the boy’s mother was administering CPR to him, police said.  Byron was rushed to Southside Hospital, but couldn’t be saved, CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported.

Police said the house was filled with a mother and her children, but no one noticed the youngest child missing until it was too late.

“All of the family members were in the house. The issue is how did the child leave the house and end up in the pool. There was a ladder in the pool that had not been removed,” Suffolk County Det. Lt. Jack Fitzpatrick said.

Police said ladders should always be removed when pools are not in use because they pose a danger for all children.

Neighbors can’t believe what happened.

“The parents can only watch them so much.  They get out whether you’re watching them or not. You have to have eyes in the back of your head,” one woman said.

The incident is being investigated as an accident.

Tragedy also struck at Orchard Beach, in the Bronx. The victim was a man in his 50’s. He went into cardiac arrest while he was swimming. Lifeguards pulled him out of the water. He was rushed to a hospital where he died.

And in Queens, a 4-year-old boy was taken to North Shore Hospital after he was discovered by his friends, unconscious inside a pool on Beverley Road.  He was pronounced dead at the hospital.  Neighbors who spoke with 1010 WINS said the boy and his family were visiting.

Also in Queens, an 11-year-old boy nearly drowned in a neighborhood pool. It happened in the Glen Oaks section. A lifeguard pulled him out and successfully performed CPR. The boy is now hospitalized.

Is enough being done to prevent tragedies in pools and beaches?  Share your thoughts in the comments section below…


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