Local News

Missing Boy Found Dead in Pool

Posted March 16, 2008
Updated March 17, 2008

— A young boy with mental disabilities was found dead Sunday evening in Durham County.

Joshua Bullock Jr. was last seen around 1 p.m. at a home on Wendell Road.

Law enforcement officers searched on the ground and in the air for the 6-year-old boy. He had Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), was bipolar and slightly, mentally disabled, authorities said.

“We want to see if we can't locate him as soon as possible,” Det. L.E. Kelly, with the Durham County Sheriff's Office, told WRAL as search crews combed a wooded area near the 5000 block of Wendell Road.

His body was found at about 6:15 p.m. about 60 yards away from the house he was reported missing from, authorities said.

Joshua had fallen into a swimming pool that was about half full with murky water, covered in leaves.

“He was located by one of our search and recovery guys at the bottom of an old swimming pool,” Kelly said.

Joshua and his father were visiting friends in Durham County when he disappeared.

“The dad mentioned that he took him inside the house for a moment and he went to put something down and once he came back, he noticed that the sliding glass patio door was open and ajar a little bit,” Kelly said.

Authorities said they are still working to piece together exactly how this tragedy happened.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • 1simplegirl Mar 17, 2008

    Just got home from class. So glad that WRAL decided to remove the movie. My heart breaks for this father and the rest of the family. I've thought about them the whole day, replayin the video in my head of the father receiving the news of his son. My prayers are with them. God has gained another beautiful angel!!

    Carolinagirl75 Have you mentioned your situation with WRAL?

  • atozca Mar 17, 2008

    I thank God for the 6 years He gifted this family with their child. I pray they will find comfort and peace. God bless them.

  • carolinagirl75 Mar 17, 2008

    This is not nearly as bad as showing the video of the father, but anytime I watch WRAL, and they show their Sky 5 commercials, I get to see my house burn down again!! and again!! and again!! Our house was one of the ones that burned down in Rolesville in August, and we still get to see it nearly everyday...it's just ridiculous...
    my deepest sympathies to the family...what a horrible tragedy, and to have it aired...sickening

  • Tyler Mar 17, 2008

    There is a double fencing ordinance in Durham for pools. After a certain year all pools are required to have one fence around the yard and then another fence around the pool.

  • VT1994Hokie Mar 17, 2008

    Another sad story indeed. I heard it on WRAL, but I was not able to see the video. Based on what everyone is writing, it was indeed poor taste fro WRAL to interview the dad. We have seen too much of this of late.

    A fence with a locked door is a must with small children. My heart and prayers are with the family members. God Bless the child.

  • Tyler Mar 17, 2008

    It was a terrible tragedy. Maybe WRAL should have edited more out of the footage. However maybe you watched it and went and hugged your children. Maybe somebody watched it and will remember it this spring and summer when their children are outside playing. Let's not get caught up in the popular condemnation of the establishment, thats really over done. Focus on what you can control, and make those things the best you can make them.

  • DarnYou Mar 17, 2008

    Yeah, me too. I was rather dissappointed to see the cameras on the father just learning of his sons death.

  • justjean Mar 17, 2008

    WRAL what in the world are you thinking? Wait...are you thinking? Obviously not. I can only hope that when tradegy strikes your famalies, the cameras will be there to catch it all. Shame on you.

    Response from GOLO:
    In covering tragic stories, we often find ourselves at a crossroads between sensationalizing and sanitizing the news. The video of the father learning about his son's death captures the very real emotion of this tragedy. It is intense and heartbreaking. It is not easy to watch. It does reflect, though, the terrible loss suffered by the family. This is no longer just another story about another drowning that few would notice. We believe that stories truly take on meaning and have impact when viewers can see and identify with real people and their experiences. Of course, that doesn't mean we show anything and everything. In fact, we routinely exercise judgment as to what should and shouldn't be included in a story. In gathering news, at no point do we accost, harass, or take advantage of victims. In this case, the video was shot from a distance. When editing the story, we didn't repeat the opening video. Please know that we are sensitive to concerns about sensationalism. To that end, we have decided to pull the video from the web and refrain from airing it again in our newscasts. While we felt it was an important part of the initial story, we don't see a compelling reason to continue showing it.

    Rick Gall News Director WRAL News

  • monkey_boy09 Mar 17, 2008

    im sure wral will take it down, especially since they are approving our post and the majority of us being pretty suprised they would do this. that really stinks though.

  • foreverblue Mar 17, 2008

    I agree with most everyone here, it was not in good taste at all. I saw it at 6:00 am this morning and I was appalled. Some things are sacred, WRAL, and this is one of them. Where's your sense of humanity???????????????