1-year-old pulled from canal in DeLand, deputies say

Deputies: Boy listed in critical condition after falling into canal

DeLAND, Fla. - A 1-year-old boy has been pulled from a canal in DeLand on Friday afternoon, according to deputies.

The boy fell into the canal near Belinda Drive and Canal Road and was in canal for approximately one minute, according to deputies.

Investigators met with the boy's mother, identified by deputies as Dawn Smith, who said that she was downstairs while her son was playing upstairs.

Afterwards, Smith said that she didn't know where the other children were, so she went upstairs to look for them.

Smith explained to investigators that she went to go look for her son but did not see him. Deputies said that's when Smith heard her brother-in-law, Marchello Rocco, yell to her to call 911, which authorities said she called immediately.

When talking to investigators, deputies said Smith appeared to be beside herself, holding her child's hand and crying.

Smith said Rocco pulled her boy from the canal, which is located just a few feet from her door.

Smith told deputies she performed CPR with help from Rocco, who spoke with a 911 dispatcher. Afterwards, Smith's son began to vomit and spew up water. Smith said she thinks she only performed CPR for a few minutes before emergency personnel arrived.

Deputies said the child was then taken to DeLand Hospital where they administered medical attention.

While at the hospital, investigators spoke with a doctor who said that the boy was listed in critical condition.

The doctor told deputies that he did not expect the boy to die and did not suspect anything suspicious in nature.

Investigators drove to the woman's home to look for anything suspicious. A lot of brown leaves were on the platform where authorities said the child fell in. The water was covered in a green foliage where deputies said water was not obvious.

Due to the boy's age, deputies said he may have not been able to decipher that the green foliage was water and not grass.

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