‘Beautiful but dangerous’: Neighbor says retention pond where girl died lacks safety

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Neighbors in the Argyle Forest neighborhood are reeling Monday night after officers found a 4-year-old girl drowned inside a retention pond.

RELATED: Jacksonville police: 4-year-old girl found dead in retention pond in Argyle Forest

“We saw [officers] get in the water and get the body, and it was a hard experience for everyone,” said a mother, who lives by the same retention pond with her 3-year-old son.

JSO confirmed the child drowned after she wandered from the yard where her mother was.

This is the third child to die in a Jacksonville retention pond in the past two months.

“That could be my son,” that mother said.

“I do explain to [my son] that he cannot be outside without mommy,” she added.

“I don’t let him get closer to the water. With the incident that happened today, I do want to get him into swimming classes,” she said.

She said her son is constantly drawn to the water’s edge.

“It is beautiful but, at the same time, it is dangerous,” she pointed out.

To prevent danger, she’d like to see high fences out here.

“It would be safer for our kids,” she said.

But until change happens, she wants the little girl’s family to know they’re not alone.

“You are in our prayers. I just hope that God gives you the strength to continue, but you have a community that’s here for you,” she said. “If you need us, just — we’re here for you.”

To help prevent tragedies, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry said in a tweet he wants to create natural barriers around retention ponds:

Action News Jax has reached out to two Jacksonville councilwomen, Leanna Cumber and Ju’Coby Pittman, for comment since, as we’ve reported before, they’re spearheading a retention pond safety campaign.

RELATED: City councilwomen team up with Jacksonville leaders, DCPS, JFRD to warn community of dangers of retention ponds

Action News Jax also reached out to Councilwoman Randy DeFoor, as this incident happened in District 14. We are waiting to hear back.