Reporting Marissa Bailey
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BOLINGBROOK, Ill. (CBS) – Eleven-year-old Jordan Oliver was playing with friends Tuesday, when she jumped in the water of a pond near school – not once, but twice – and then she never came back up.
Police have said it appears she and a group of classmates had gone to the pond in Bolingbrook to go “bridge jumping,” and although peer pressure might have been involved, don’t believe Oliver was forced to jump.
CBS 2’s Marissa Bailey reports Oliver’s family was still in shock on Wednesday, but her father said he and his family are choosing to remember Jordan’s life, rather than focusing on the details of her death.
“Our daughter Jordan was a born leader, bright, inquisitive, loud, and boisterous,” Jamal Oliver said Wednesday afternoon, near a memorial to Jordan at the pond where she drowned on Tuesday.
Jordan and other students ignored warning signs at the pond, stating “no diving.”
Investigators said she was with a group of six boys and girls, who all jumped off the bridge Tuesday evening. The second time she jumped in, Jordan briefly surfaced, then sank under the water and never came up again.
“We’re not interested in any speculation as to these things,” her father said. “We’re not here blaming anybody.”
Initial reports stated Jordan might have been pressured to jump in, but authorities said Wednesday the group decided before arriving at the pond at Indian Chase Meadows Park to all go “bridge jumping.”
Authorities called it “blanket” peer pressure, but said Jordan was not forced to jump.
“The girls she was with were good girls, and we knew all the girls she was with. We’re heartbroken for them, and we hope they’re okay,” her father said.
The memorial on the bridge provides a solemn reminder of how seemingly innocent childhood decisions can be terribly dangerous.
“She just had a great personality and she was just Jordan,” her father said.
Grief counselors were at Pioneer Elementary School on Wednesday, as well as two other schools in the district where Jordan’s siblings are students.
Bolingbrook police said this is the first time they’ve seen anyone jump off the bridge at the pond near Pioneer Elementary.