Three-year-old Boy Found Dead at Bottom of Abandoned Pool
Published April 20th, 2013
ALACHUA COUNTY - Deputies from the Alachua County Sheriff's Office are investigating the circumstances that led up to the apparent drowning of a three-year-old boy near the Holly Heights apartment complex on Friday. Divers found the body of young Demetrius Powers near the bottom of a murky, abandoned neighborhood pool.
According to the sheriff's office, deputies were called out to the Cedar Ridge subdivision in southwest Alachua County after Powers' uncle first noticed him missing shortly before noon. Police K-9's tracked the boy's scent to the edge of an old abandoned pool nearby.
A sheriff's office spokesperson says two deputies actually went into the pool in an attempt to find the boy, but the water was so murky that rescue divers had to be called in. Those divers were able to find the boy's body near the bottom of the pool.
While it appears Powers drowned after accidentally falling into the pool while playing with a friend, deputies says they're awaiting the results of an autopsy before they can officially declare it a drowning.
Residents in the subdivision say Powers lived in the complex with his uncle and another woman they identified as his stepmother. They say Powers' uncle would always keep a close watch on the boy whenever he was playing outside.
But some residents say this tragedy could easily have been prevented. They tell TV20 that they've repeatedly asked management to fix the fence surrounding the pool as several gaps are noticeable.
Catherine Banta is the property manager for Banta Properties, which according to their website manages over a dozen properties across the area, including the Holly Heights/Cedar Ridge subdivision. While she refused to appear on camera, Banta told TV20 that as far as she knew, that pool had been drained. She said the murky water in the pool at the time was from recent rainfall.
Banta says she had not received any complaints about the holes in that fence, but did acknowledge that some residents have asked for that pool area to be redeveloped or filled in. She said she has been trying to work with numerous agencies over the years to redevelop it, including the North Central Florida YMCA and the Southwest Advocacy Group, but so far has not had any luck.
Just a few hours after the boy's body was found, several maintenance workers were spotted fixing the holes in the chain link fence surrounding the pool.
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