Sheriff’s office investigating Monday drowning of a toddler

ABERDEEN, S.D. (By Elisa Sand – The Brown County sheriff’s office is investigating the death of a 2-year-old girl who died while swimming by the Ordway Dam Monday evening.

Brown County Chief Deputy Dave Lunzman said the child was out with her mom and mom’s boyfriend who were fishing while the girl was playing in the water. The Ordway Dam is about 6 miles north of Aberdeen on 125th Street.

Lunzman said it’s unclear exactly what happened but the child was playing in the water and disappeared. When she was found, she was unresponsive, he said. Emergency officials, who were called about 7:46 p.m., were unable to revive the child.

Aberdeen Police officers, Care Flight, Aberdeen Fire & Rescue, Emergency Management and Groton Police responded.

Deputies are conducting a full investigation, which is ongoing, Lunzman said. An autopsy has been conducted. Final results will take time, he said, but preliminary results did not show anything suspicious.

“It doesn’t appear to be out of the ordinary for a drowning,” he said.

As per procedure, once the investigation is completed, the report will be turned over to the Brown County State’s Attorney’s office for review.

The name of the child is not being released, he said.

Lunzman said this event is tragic and difficult for all involved from the immediate family to emergency responders.

The child was not wearing a life vest, Lunzman said.

Lunzman said it’s important for children to have life vests or some form of a floatation device.

“They don’t have the strength, knowledge or endurance to protect or save themselves,” he said.