A 2-year-old boy was hospitalized after he escaped a gated patio and fell into a pond near his northwest Indiana home.
The boy had been playing in puddles Tuesday afternoon on the patio of his family’s apartment in the 5600 block of Hayes in Merrillville. His mother looked away for a moment and the child slipped through a metal railing.
“She thought maybe he was in an adjoining apartment or within the complex so she was looking around then she ran toward the pond area and saw him,” Commander Jeff Rice with the Merillville Police Department said.
Neighbors in the Hickory Ridge Lake Apartments said they heard the mother screaming for help.
“I saw her with the baby in her hand trying to get him to breathe,” said Bianca Beans, who called 911.
The mother and two neighbors did CPR until police and firefighters arrived. The child was taken to an area hospital and later flown to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.
“I heard the baby cry out when I arrived at the hospital so that’s a good sign,” Rice said. “But after that the child was put on instruments to help him continue to breathe.”
Police said an investigation is ongoing and the findings will be turned over to the Department of Children and Family Services, but preliminary findings indicate the incident was a tragic accident.