Investigators say a one-year-old boy is dead after an accident at Southwest Missouri's Elk River. The Missouri State Highway Patrol assisted the McDonald County Sheriff's Office. No foul play is suspected, and officials say the one-year-old was probably doing what many other one-year-old's would've also been doing.
McDonald County Coroner William Goodwin the third says a group of people were at a beach Sunday near Pineville, wrapping-up a day's worth of relaxation and keeping cool by Elk River.
"There were several family and friends there and other children," says Goodwin.
The group included a mom, dad, and one-year-old Anthony Lemus-Peraza from Rogers, Arkansas.
"The mother thought the father had the little boy," says Goodwin.
Many parents can identify with the situation.
"The father thought the mother did," says Goodwin.
Then there was the realization that came too late.
"That's when they panicked, and he was found just a little ways down in about three feet of water," says Goodwin.
Investigators say the boy was playing near the river, then fell into the water. The boy was flown to Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, where he was on life support until Wednesday when he died.
"Coded three times. They were able to revive him. Yesterday, at 8:24, he coded a fourth time and he didn't make it," says Goodwin.
Goodwin doesn't know who made the decision to take the little boy off life support, or why the decision was made. There were no signs of trauma on the boy's body, and the coroner has listed drowning as the cause of death.
"Last year, I worked six different drownings on our rivers. So, you can't take things for granted, especially when there's children involved," says Goodwin.
Authorities say alcohol was not involved in the incident.
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