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. Tampa International named among least expensive airports

    News

    TAMPA — Florida airports apparently have a knack for getting it done cheaply.

    According to RewardExpert, Tampa International Airport is the fifth least expensive domestic airport. 
[CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times
 file photo]

  2. What Hurricane Maria taught me about the people of Puerto Rico

    Hurricanes

    SAN JUAN — After Hurricane Maria took their roof, water and electricity — but spared their chickens — Ana De Jesús and Santiago Quiñones packed a few basics and moved across the street into their windowless beachside kiosk.

    Ismael Freytes, 69, removes muddy debris as he tries to clean out his house in Arecibo, where the local river poured into the streets after Hurricane Maria. [CARL JUSTE?| Miami Herald]
  3. Anna Maria City Pier to close for year after 'extensive damage' from Hurricane Irma

    Travel

    ANNA MARIA — While Hurricane Irma's last-minute shift helped spare large swaths of Florida cities from catastrophic damage, the Anna Maria City Pier didn't fare so well.

    A damage assessment following Hurricane Irma suggests repairs for the Anna Maria City Pier can take at least 12 months. [LUIS SANTANA for Visit Florida]
  4. Photo of the Day for September 26, 2017 - Flying gecko on glass

    Human Interest

    Today's Photo of the Day comes from Wayne Rayburn of Tarpon Springs, FL. He calls it "Flying gecko on glass."

  5. Candidate in East Hillsborough House primary didn't vote in primaries

    Elections

    TAMPA — Personal voting histories show a sharp difference between Yvonne Fry and Lawrence McClure, the two candidates in the Republican special election primary Oct. 10 for East Hillsborough's District 58 state House seat.

    Yvonne Fry, Republican candidate for state House District 58, has voted in 34 elections at all levels since 1994. She likes to vote on election day, she said, and considers it a national holiday. [Courtesy of Yvonne Fry]