18-month-old boy found in Winter Garden retention pond dies, police say

Officers said the boy’s aunt was babysitting when the boy escaped the home

An 18-month-old boy died after being found in a retention pond, Winter Garden Police Department Capt. Scott Allen said.

WINTER GARDEN, Fla. – An 18-month-old boy died after being found in a retention pond Monday afternoon, Winter Garden Police Department Capt. Scott Allen said.

According to police, the boy — Diego Garcia — was found in the pond near Lakeview Avenue and Story Road after his babysitter, the boy’s aunt, went to the bathroom and came out to find him gone.

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“The neighbor, she came, she was asking if we saw a baby, and we told her ‘No,’” said Donna Hernandez, a neighbor who helped search for the boy. “And I walked around. I walked to one of our trailers, and I seen the baby floating in the water. I screamed to my husband. He came running and grabbed the baby out while I called 911.”

The boy was given CPR and transported to the hospital, where he later died, police said. (Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

Winter Garden police said they showed up to the retention pond behind the babysitter’s home at approximately 5:30 p.m. Thursday after receiving a call about a child drowning.

Garcia was pulled from the pond, given CPR and transported to the hospital, but did not survive, officers said.

Investigators said he somehow made his way out of a back door that may have been propped open. They added there was a back gate that was closed but possibly not latched shut.

Winter Garden Police Department said because the fence is privately owned, the city is not able to mend it.

“It’s unfortunate,” Allen said. “Because when you have a kid, you take your eyes off them for a second, and these horrible things can happen.”

Police said the investigation is still in its early stages. News 6 has reached out to area leaders to see whether any plans would be made to prevent a similar incident and is waiting on a response.


About the Authors:

Samantha started at WKMG-TV in September 2020. Before joining the News 6 team, Samantha was a political reporter for The Villages Daily Sun and has had freelance work featured in the Evansville Courier-Press and The Community Paper. When not writing, she enjoys travelling and performing improv comedy.

Jerry Askin is an Atlanta native who came to News 6 in March 2018 with an extensive background in breaking news.