WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - Police are investigating the death of a 2-year-old boy who drowned in a neighborhood pool in south Wichita.

Officers and emergency crews were called at around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday to the 5400 block of South Minneapolis – near Hydraulic and 55th Street South.

A person was checking their mail and noticed something floating in a nearby pool. They realized it was a child and called 911.

It appears the boy, who is under the age of 5, managed to slip through part of the gate, investigators said. The pool was secure; it had a fence all the way around it and was locked with a padlock and chain.

Police spokesperson Paul Cruz said the boy was with his father and 4-year-old brother and managed to bypass the fence surrounding the pool and fell into the water. 

First responders got to the scene quickly, but crews were not able to save the child. They tried to revive him for more than an hour. The boy's name was not released.

Lt. Matt Lang said the boy’s death is tragic, but it’s a reminder for parents to never let their guard down.

“Well, it’s upsetting that this type of circumstance happens, but I see it almost on a daily basis,” Lang said. “You leave a child unattended for one second, one minute, an hour – bad things happen. So, you have to pay attention especially with small children.  You have to pay attention to their whereabouts at any given time. You can’t assume that everything’s going to be OK because you see a locked door or a locked gate. It leads to some tragic circumstances like we see here today.”

In addition, he said it’s important to prepare you and your child.

“Get your children swimming lessons. Get them floatation devices. Show them how to use it,” Lang said. “Don’t leave them unattended. Be with them the entire time while they’re at or near a body of water, whether it’s a public pool, a pond where you go fishing, even in these drains sometimes when rain. We’ve seen kids wander off and drown in less than a foot of water. So, it’s very dangerous around water because they don’t understand the circumstances of it. They play in it, play in the bathtub. They think it’s the same thing, so in their mind it’s just a giant bathtub or something of that effect. They don’t understand the consequences.”

This story has been corrected to reflect that the pool is a private neighborhood pool and not a public pool.



Emergency crews responded to a  near-drowning just after 10 p.m. on Tuesday.

A Sedgwick County dispatch supervisor confirmed there was a near-drowning incident near the 1900 block of E 54 St.

KAKE currently has a crew on the way to gather more information.