Cell phone call turns attention from toddler, who feel into creek and died
MATLOCK, Wash. — The intense search for a missing 23-month-old boy ended, officials said, when divers and rescue teams found him uncounscious in a creek near his home in the Matlock area in Mason County; his mother had been watching him but was distracted by a brief cell phone call.
Matlock is a sparcely populated, rural town south of Seattle.
“Unfortunately this wasn’t a good day,” Chief Mason County Deputy Dean Byrd told KOMO News.
A large-scale search had been launched by divers and rescue teams when the toddler was reported missing, Byrd said.
The search centered on a local stream, Dry Bed Creek, near Beeville Road, about 12 miles west of Shelton. The creek, KOMO News reports, winds through local pastureland and is brimming with water from recent rains.
The search ended when rescuers found the toddler unconscious in the creek. Searchers began CPR immediately, but all efforts to resuscitate the young boy were futile.
The young boy, identified as Jacob C.Chappell, had been playing outside his home at about 12:30 p.m. while his mother watched him. He was riding a toy quad type vehicle.
His mother was distracted by a brief cell phone call that lasted less than a minute. When she turned around, Jacob was gone.
The Sheriff’s Office was notified and a search of the creek began immediately. Within 35 minutes, searchers found the child’s play vehicle about a quarter of a mile downstream from the boy’s house.
Jacob was located just a short distance from where searchers found the toy vehicle, in the water.
KOMO News reports that the Mason County Sheriff’s Office and the Mason County Coroner’s Office are investigating, but officials say that the incident appears to be a tragic accident.
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Source: KOMO News