• Child drowns in Baker County retention pond

    By: Action News Jax

    Updated:

    BAKER COUNTY, Fla. - A child drowned in a retention pond near West Minnesota Avenue in Macclenny on Tuesday morning, the Sheriff's Office confirmed. The victim has been identified as 2-year-old Franklin Parker. 

    PHOTOS: Child drowns in Baker County


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    QUICK FACTS:

    • A child has drowned in Baker County, the Sheriff's Office has confirmed.
    • The child drowned in a retention pond near West Minnesota Avenue in Macclenny, the Sheriff's Office said
    • The child was at a home across the street from the pond with his 18-year-old sister

    A child drowned in a retention pond near West Minnesota Avenue in Macclenny on Tuesday morning, the Sheriff's Office confirmed. The victim has been identified as 2-year-old Franklin Parker. 

    The night before the incident, Parker's mother dropped him and his 18-year-old sister, Alexis Williams, off at a friend's house. They were to stay there overnight while she and her husband were at work. 

    Williams told the Baker County Sheriff's Office that she and Parker slept on the couch together through the night. When her brother woke up at 6:50 a.m., Williams gave him a cell phone and a toy to play with. She said that all doors of the house were closed, but that the front door was unsecured. 

    She woke up to neighbors knocking on the door. They informed her that Parker had wondered more than 100 feet away from the house and had been running around outside between 9:40 a.m. and 10 a.m. They began looking for Parker, and one of the neighbors found him in the retention pond.

    "He was in the water and I heard that he might have been floating on top of the water. I don’t know how long he had been in there," Carol Harrell, a neighbor. said. 

    Another neighbor began performing CPR, and Parker was later transported to Ed Fraser Memorial Hospital in Macclenny. He was pronounced dead at the hospital. 

    The Florida Department of Children and Families was notified, and are working to investigate in coordination with the Baker County Sheriff's Office. Sheriff Scotty Rhoden is asking the community for continued prayers for the family and friends of the deceased, as well as the Law Enforcement Officers involved in the investigation.

    Neighbors say they have been asking for a fence to go around the pond. The City Manager said this property is not required to have a fence due to Saint John's Water Management standards. These standards only require that a slope greater than 4:1 be fenced.

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