‘Extremely Saddened by This Tragic Event’

3-Year-Old Boys Dies of Accidental Drowning on Easter While Visiting Family in New York

GoFundMe Owen

A New York community is mourning the death of a 3-year-old boy who tragically died after being found unresponsive in a pool over the weekend.

The boy – who has only been identified by his first name, Owen – was found hours after he went missing in Rensselaer County, according to CBS affiliate WRGB.

Family members told the outlet that the boy was at his aunt’s house for Easter when he slipped out while dinner was being prepared.

“On Sunday, April 17, at approximately 7:08 pm, Sheriff’s deputies responded to a call for a missing three-year-old child from Oakhurst Street in Pleasantdale,” the Rensselaer County Sheriff’s Office wrote in a statement.

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Following an “intense” search conducted by first responders as well as over 100 members of the community, the boy was found unresponsive “in a swimming pool on the property from which he was reported missing,” police said.

After being provided with treatment on the scene, the boy was transported to a nearby hospital, police said. Unfortunately, he was “unable to be revived,” they added.

“We are extremely saddened by this tragic event, and ask that the public continue to pray for this family as they grieve the unimaginable loss of their child,” police said in a statement, sharing that his cause of death has been determined to be accidental. drowning.

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A GoFundMe has since been created to help Owen’s family – and it’s already raised over $ 12,000 as of Tuesday afternoon.

Kimberly Parker, a community member who organized the fundraiser, tells PEOPLE that she was upstairs folding laundry when she first heard that there was a boy who went missing nearby.

“This news spread like wildfire and before you knew it, there were at least 100 community members searching by foot and by car,” Parker says.

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“I can’t explain to you the plethora of emotions we all felt in such a short amount of time,” she adds. “You go from frantically searching and afraid of what you might find or even worse, that he won’t be found, to elated to hear he was found and then immediately heartbroken after hearing where he was found and his condition.”

Despite the fact that many members of the community, including Parker, never had a chance to meet Owen, “we all wanted to help.”

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After getting in contact with his family, Parker asked for permission to set up the GoFundMe to help cover funeral expenses.

“No grieving family should have to bear the weight of unexpected costs like these,” she says. “The community and surrounding communities have been more than generous and I am so grateful for that.”

Parker says the family plans to have a candlelit vigil for Owen soon.

Those interested in donating to the GoFundMe can do so here.

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