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Manatee sheriff releases name of toddler who drowned

MANATEE — Authorities have released the name of a 11-month-old boy who drowned in a bathtub earlier this week.

Ryan Walter Gerken, who would have turned 1 year old on June 8, died Tuesday at All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, two days after his mother said she found him face down in water in the bathtub of their home in 3600 block of 19th Street West, Bradenton, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

The woman told investigators she left the room Sunday afternoon to get the child’s clothing and a towel. She left her son alone for about five to 10 minutes.

“(She) admits she may have lost track of time and became concerned when she didn’t hear her son playing and splashing. When she entered the room, she found her son face down submerged in the tub,” a sheriff's office news release states.

Because the death appeared to be accidental, the charges have been forwarded to the state attorney’s office to decide whether charges will be filed..

“It is clear that the defendant was negligent and failed to provide adequate supervision resulting in the death,” the news release states.

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