Family says 6-year-old drowning victim died a hero off Anna Maria Island

rdymond@bradenton.comApril 22, 2013 

BRADENTON BEACH -- Family members say 6-year-old Lamontea Taylor drowned a hero, saving his half-sister, Natallie Porter, 5, who was also drowning.

"Lamontea is a hero," said Amanda Jones, Natallie's mom.

Jones had dropped her daughter off with Charles Porter, father of both kids, for a cook-out at the beach.

Later, Jones said she learned of Lamontea's bravery from her daughter and Charles Porter.

There are also reports of an older person pulling Natallie out after Lamontea had held her head above water.

"They were playing in the water," Jones said. Lamontea died saving her life. He pushed her up so she could breathe."

Lamontea's body was recovered from the water shortly after 10 a.m. Monday.

Bradenton Beach police could not confirm the Natallie Porter story, said spokesman Sgt. Lenard Diaz.

"It's sad, but we're glad we could provide closure for the family," Diaz said. "We hope that people read the warning signs out there. The currents are bad in that area."

Laketa Taylor, Lamontea's mother, was too grief-stricken too talk to the Bradenton Herald on Monday but family said she wanted to thank all of the rescuers who helped find her child.

At noon Monday Lamontea's body was inside the Manatee County Marine Rescue Headquarters and his mother was allowed to be alone with his remains.

"It was very emotional," Diaz said. "I don't want to describe that moment."

Officers with the Florida Wildlife and Conservation Conservation Commission found the body about 10:09 a.m. three-quarters of a mile west of the southern end of Coquina Beach in the Gulf of Mexico, Diaz said.

Police and family disagree on where the child first entered the water.

Diaz said it was near Longboat Pass, at the south end of Coquina Beach.

But the family said it was farther north on the beach.

All agree the incident occurred around 6 p.m. Saturday.

The police expect no criminal charges to be filed, evaluating it as a horrible accident, Diaz said.

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