Officials call off search for possible Palmetto drowning victim

Palmetto drowning report proves unreliable

jdeleon@bradenton.comMarch 6, 2014 

PALMETTO -- A search for a possible drowned victim in a pond in a Palmetto apartment complex was called off late Wednesday afternoon.

"We are reasonably certain that a child didn't fall into the pond," Palmetto Deputy Chief Scott Tyler said.

The pond is at the Palmetto Trace Apartments, 201 Ninth St. E., Palmetto.

Shortly after 2 p.m. a 911 caller told police a child had told her another child had fallen into the pond.

After arriving, police were unable to confirm the report.

The girl told police she saw two little children playing near the pond, and then later returned to find only one child, according to Tyler. The boy, she claimed, told her the other child had fallen into the pond.

Police say the little girl then ran to find an adult, the resident who called 911.

The North River Fire District and Manatee County Emergency Medical Services were unable to locate a victim.

"We went door to door," Tyler said. "No one has reported a child missing."

The Manatee County Sheriff's Office Dive Team was called out to the pond to search for the possible victim.

After about an hour of searching, the dive team called the search off just before 5 p.m.

"The dive team has noted exactly where they searched," Tyler said.

Without credible information, police said they could not continue a search but would know where to look in the event a child is later reported missing.

"They searched the areas immediately adjacent to the banks where the child would have been playing and they spent extra time where the two children had allegedly been seen earlier," Tyler said.

Tyler said he was told by the divers a child typically drowns right where they enter the water.

Jessica De Leon, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter@JDeLeon1012.

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