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July 5, 2013

Child nearly drowns in Big Monon Creek near Monticello

Boy, 5, found face down in water.

MONTICELLO — A 5-year-old boy found lying face down was coughing up water as he was pulled from Big Monon Creek north of Monticello Wednesday afternoon, the White County Sheriff says.

The White County 911 Center received a call at 12:51 p.m. Wednesday with a report of a small child floating face down in Big Monon Creek, which runs into Lake Shafer, north of Monticello, said White County Sheriff Pat Shafer.

Shafer said the caller was a man boating on Lake Shafer with his family. As they traveled from Lake Shafer into Big Monon Creek, the man saw a small child, later identified to be 3 years old, standing naked on a boat dock, Shafer said. As the boat got closer, Shafer said the caller noticed another child, later determined to be 5 years old, also naked and lying face down in the water.

“When he pulled the 5-year-old out of the water, he started coughing up water, he was breathing,” Shafer said. “They took him over to the shore.”

Shafer said the sheriff’s department is not yet releasing any names.

Members of the White County Sheriff’s Department, Monticello Fire Department and ambulance services began arriving on the scene about the time the boy was pulled to shore.

The mother of the two boys arrived on the scene about the same time. Shafer said the woman had been asleep in her residence on the lake and was unaware the boys had left the residence.

The 5-year-old was transported by ambulance to Indiana University White Memorial Hospital in Monticello, where he was examined before being transported to Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis for 24-hour observation.

Shafer said the case remains under investigation by the White County Sheriff’s Department with assistance from the White County Department of Child Protective Services and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

Mitchell Kirk is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5130 or mitchell.kirk@pharostribune.com.

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