Death of Girl Who Fell in Septic Tank Ruled an Accidental Drowning

The death of a girl who fell inside a septic tank has been ruled an accidental drowning.

By David Chang
|  Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012  |  Updated 6:20 AM EDT
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A 2-year-old died after accidentally falling into a septic tank, police said. The mother of the child reported her daughter missing early Monday evening and her body was found in the tank a few hours later. Investigators believe the child was playing with her siblings when she fell down the hole into the septic tank. NBC10's Katy Zachry talks to neighbors about the tragedy.

NBC10 Philadelphia - Katy Zachry

A 2-year-old died after accidentally falling into a septic tank, police said. The mother of the child reported her daughter missing early Monday evening and her body was found in the tank a few hours later. Investigators believe the child was playing with her siblings when she fell down the hole into the septic tank. NBC10's Katy Zachry talks to neighbors about the tragedy.

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2-Year-Old Found Dead in Septic Tank

The body of a 2-year-old child was found Monday evening near a home in Lakewood, N.J. Investigators in Ocean County say the child was playing in the yard of a home on Spruce Street. Her mother reported her missing just before 5 p.m. Around 7:30 the child's body was discovered in the septic tank, say investigators. It's believed she fell down a hole about three feet wide into the tank. Investigators say it appears to be a tragic accident. NBC10's Claudia Rivero reports.
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The Ocean County Prosecutor announced the results of an autopsy conducted on a 2-year-old girl who died after falling into a septic tank.

On Monday, around 4:50 p.m., police say they were contacted by a woman who reported she could not find her 2-year-old daughter. Police arrived at the home on East Spruce Street in Lakewood and began to search for the girl, identified as J.C.

Investigators say search teams found a 3-feet-wide hole in the yard that led to a septic tank. They called in the Lakewood Township Public Works Department to pump water out from the tank. Around 7:30 p.m., police say the water level dropped and emergency crews found the girl's body, which they carefully removed.

Investigators believe J.C. was playing in the yard with her four siblings when she fell down the hole into the septic tank. They also say the girl's mother was inside her home with her 2-month-old child when the accident happened.

On Tuesday, Ocean County Prosecutor Marlene Lynch Ford made the following statement regarding the girl's death:

Today, an autopsy of the 2 year old victim was conducted by Dr. Ian Hood.  Dr. Hood concluded that the child died as a result of accidental drowning.  At this point in time, there is no indication of foul play or trauma.  The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office will continue its investigation into the circumstances of this death in order to rule out any criminal action that contributed to the death of this young child.

Police continue to investigate the incident. Anyone with information should call Detective Thomas Tiernan of the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office at 732-929-2027.


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