CHICAGO (CBS) — A 10-year-old boy was found dead in a public swimming pool in south suburban Park Forest early Tuesday.
Park Forest police said officers responded to a report of a missing child shortly before 4 a.m. Tuesday. The family told police the 10-year-old boy had been playing near Central Park, and as officers were searching the park, relatives told officers they spotted the boy’s clothes outside one of the pools at the nearby Park Forest Aqua Center.
“One of our sergeants climbed the fence, found the juvenile inside a pool, pulled him out, began performing CPR,” Park Forest Police Chief Christopher Mannino said.
Despite spending several minutes attempting CPR, the officer was not able to revive the boy.
Paramedics who arrived on the scene rushed the boy to Franciscan Health Olympia Fields, where he was pronounced dead.
It was not immediately clear how the boy got into the swimming pool while the facility was closed, or if anyone else went into the pool with him.
The Cook County Medical Examiner’s office identified the boy as Jaleel Drayton, whose home is about half a mile away from the pool. An autopsy has not yet been scheduled.
The Aqua Center has at least four pools, and is closed between 7 p.m. and noon.
David Beeks, who swims at the pool regularly with his grandchildren, found Aqua Center closed Tuesday morning after learning the heartbreaking news.
“It really puts a damper on the whole spirit, because the Fourth of July is really special around here,” he said.
In his view, the tragedy shouldn’t have happened.
“They need to put better security on there, or at least raise the fence,” Beeks said.
Mannino said the pool generally has been a safe place to cool off in the summer.
“In my 21-year career, I don’t recall a single incident like this occurring at the Aqua Center,” he said.
Beeks said what happened overnight will certainly serve as a cautionary tale for his young grandson.
“I’m careful to let him know that it’s fun, but it can do harm to you, too,” he said.
Police said the Aqua Center, which is owned by the village, would be closed for the day on Tuesday.
The Illinois State Police Crime Scene Investigation Unit was helping process the scene.