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2 child deaths in 2 days hits Mesa

April 18, 2007

A pair of child drowning deaths in a two-day period this week has law enforcement officials spreading the annual message about water safety early in the season this year.

Neighbors found 3-year-old Colin Keran floating in a swimming pool at an east Mesa apartment Monday morning. Colin, whose parents were in a nearby apartment at the time, gained access to the complex's pool with his 5-year-old brother through a gate that didn't latch, according to police.

Less than 30 hours later, Mesa police responded to an apartment home near Greenfield Road and University Drive where they found an unconscious 8-month-old, Cathy Marie Romero. According to statements from the family, Cathy's mother was bathing her and three other children Tuesday afternoon when she stepped away for a moment and left the children in the care of a 15-year-old nephew, police said. Several minutes later, one of the children in the bath appeared holding Cathy's body. advertisement

Police responded to the scene within a minute, said Mesa police Detective Johnny Lopez, a department spokesman, but were unable to save the girl.

Last year, 59 people, including 10 children, drowned in the Valley, in nearly 160 water-related incidents where police, fire and paramedic agencies responded.

In Mesa, one child drowned in 2006, along with four adults.

"We can't convey enough the dangers of water, it doesn't matter if it's a pool or a half-full bucket of water," Lopez said. "If you're dealing with small kids, please keep an eye on them. It doesn't take long."

Residents can learn more about water safety and emergency techniques at the city's annual water-safety demonstration, known as April Pool's Day.

The event is from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Shepherd Aquatic Complex, 1407 N. Alta Mesa Drive.

For more information, contact the city's parks and recreation department at (480)-644-5300.
Reproduced with permission from:
The Arizona Republic
By JJ Hensley
Copyright 2007 Arizona Republic

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