ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – Police are investigating how a 6-year-old drowned at a St. Louis County summer camp on Wednesday.
Officials say they cannot answer our questions due to the ongoing investigation. FOX 2 went to a county camp with swimmers to see how they’re protecting children.
“The police department is leading the investigation on this, and that includes assembling some of the information you are seeking,” a St. Louis County spokesman said.
People in charge at the North County Recreation Complex said they’re not authorized to talk. The camp there is called Camp Eagle’s Nest.
We could see around back at the Aquatic Center and noticed about 20 children. A half-dozen appeared to be very young. It was not very busy overall. We observed three lifeguards. Supervisors would not confirm the numbers or if they’re short-staffed.
Many St. Louis-area pools announced restricted hours and closures this summer because of worker shortages. The county’s website says it is hiring lifeguards.
“How can you just look off for a few seconds and not see that this is going on?” said Kyara Jefferson, mother of a 2-year-old. “What could you possibly be doing that kept your focus off of this child?”
The St. Louis County Executive’s Office declined both our request for an on-camera interview and to answer specific questions about Wednesday’s drowning.
Police identified the victim as 6-year-old Travone Mister, known as T.J. He was found at about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Camp Kennedy pool. It’s been temporarily closed at the Kennedy Recreation Complex in south St. Louis County. The camp remains open with other activities inside the center.
Ernest Merriweather, a local father, said he won’t leave his kids at a pool under someone else’s watch.
“I would like to know what happened, just so that others are cautious with their children,” he said. “Not that I don’t trust other people that are lifeguards, but no one is going to watch (my children) like I do.”
FOX 2 confirmed St. Louis County’s summer camps are operated internally by St. Louis County Parks and not by an outside vendor. The county operates more than a dozen camps – at least two include swimming. We also learned the boy drowned during the camp’s designated pool time.
FOX 2 will keep asking St. Louis County about its policies protecting children. Many of those answers will likely come from the St. Louis County Police investigation.
Suggest a Correction