Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Police: Toddler who drowned in lake was out of sight for no more than five minutes

ST. PETERSBURG — A 2-year-old child drowned in a lake Thursday night behind a home in the Brighton Bay area of the city, authorities said.

Mark Andrew Van Cott, who would have been 2 next week, was visiting family at 883 Addison Drive NE, when the incident occurred at about 6 p.m. When police and paramedics arrived, they found the victim child lying near the shoreline of a small lake behind the home.

The boy's grandmother, Josefa Van Cott, 64, was attempting to perform CPR on him as paramedics took over, police said. The boy was transported to All Children's Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Investigators learned the child had been dropped off at the residence earlier in the day by the parents while they went to tend to a school issue for their other child. The home belonged to the grandmother and his step-grandfather, 51-year-old Victor Lopez. Lopez's nephew, 28-year-old Victor Hernandez, was also at the home at the time.

According to the family, they were preparing dinner and the toddler was playing inside the house when they suddenly noticed they did not see him and began to search the home.

Lopez eventually went out to the backyard to search when he saw the child lying face down in the lake, about a foot from the shore line. He extracted the child, police said, and yelled for the others to call 911. They all began resuscitation efforts until paramedics arrived.

Homicide investigators responded to the scene and believe the child got out of the house through an open sliding glass door out to a screened-in back porch. The boy managed to push open a screen door, which appeared to have a faulty latch and was not secured, police said.

From that point, the boy made his way to the lake, about 60 feet from the house.

The family estimated that child was out of sight for no more the five minutes before they discovered him in the lake.

Police called the incident a tragic accident and do not anticipate filing criminal charges.

Police: Toddler who drowned in lake was out of sight for no more than five minutes 10/20/11 [Last modified: Friday, October 21, 2011 9:26am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Police: Uber driver's gun discharges during fight at Adventure Island in Tampa

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — An Uber driver's gun went off Sunday at Adventure Island during a fight between the driver and two passengers.

  2. Baker cautious on Pride politics

    Elections

    Rick and Joyce Baker strode down Central Avenue Sunday amid rainbow flags, corporate booths, and blaring music of the St. Pete Pride Festival.

    St. Petersburg mayoral candidate Rick Baker chats Sunday with people at the St. Pete Pride Festival. As mayor, Baker did not sign a Pride parade proclamation, but now he says he would.
  3. Rays' bullpen stars lit up in loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday it was the soft underbelly of the bullpen that let one get away from the Rays, incurring the wrath of the team's faithful followers, who wondered why the high-leverage guys weren't pitching.

    Rays closer Alex Colome, coming in with the score tied in the ninth, allows three runs in his second straight poor outing.
  4. Lightning among early suitors for defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said he planned to explore free agency for potential needs, which include bolstering his blue line and adding a wing or two.

    Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, who can be a free agent Saturday, counts the Lightning among his early suitors.
  5. Senate leaders try to appease members as support for health bill slips

    National

    WASHINGTON — Senate Republican leaders scrambled Sunday to rally support for their health care bill, even as opposition continued to build outside Congress and two Republican senators questioned whether the bill would be approved this week.

    Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill on Thursday, is one of the five Republican senators who announced they cannot support the health care bill as drafted.