4-year-old drowns in Raleigh apartment complex swimming pool

Sean Coffey Image
Tuesday, May 16, 2023
4-year-old drowns in Raleigh swimming pool
A 4-year-old boy drowned Tuesday in a community pool, according to Raleigh Police Department.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- A 4-year-old boy drowned Tuesday in a community pool, according to Raleigh Police Department.

Investigators received a call about a missing child around 7:45 a.m. from a family located in the Falls Creek Apartment Homes on Evergreen Forest Way.

Police arrived and started searching the area for the missing child. They soon found him unresponsive in the community pool located behind the apartment complex's main office building.

Chopper 11 flew over the scene and saw crime-scene tape wrapped around the building and the fence that encloses the pool.

It remains unclear how the child got into the pool.

Raleigh Police Department said it does not suspect foul play, but that it is investigating how the child was able to gain access to the pool area. North Carolina law requires all public pools to be fenced with self-latching gates.

According to CDC data, this type of tragedy is all too familiar. Drowning is the leading cause of death for children ages 1-4 in the U.S., and 87% of drowning deaths of children in that age group occur in pools.

"It's heartbreaking. I can't even imagine what those parents going through. And what is most upsetting is it can be prevented. It really can," said Katy Davis, Aquatics Director at the non-profit Triangle Aquatics Center.

The Triangle Aquatics Center is trying to reverse that trend, providing swim and safety training for children as young as six months old. It comes as National Water Safety Month takes place in May.

"With a number of pools of water around here, that people know how to swim and are able to be safe around the water because it's something that can affect anyone," said Darria Chance, the center's Programs Manager.

The apartment complex's corporate owner, Morgan Properties, referred our questions about the pool area and its safety features to law enforcement. In a statement, they said:

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the child involved in an incident at our apartment community this morning. We are fully cooperating with local authorities and providing assistance in any way we can."

ABC11 also reached out to Wake County to request inspection records for the community pool. We're still waiting to hear back from them.