Local News

3-year-old drowns in Robeson County drainage ditch

Posted February 16, 2010
Updated February 17, 2010

— A 3-year-old boy died Tuesday evening, hours after he was found under water in a ditch near Lumberton, authorities said.

Child wanders off, dies in Robeson County Child wanders off, dies in Robeson County

Jay Flores wandered away from his Rozier Church Road home at about 11 a.m.

Robeson County Sheriff Ken Sealey said Jay's mother, Candace Hardin, went to get the mail and left the child with his grandmother.

When grandmother Joyce Hardin went to the bathroom, the boy walked out.

"He had snuck out of the house without anybody seeing him, and he wandered off," relative Joanna Riojas said.

Dozens of people searched the area. They found him at about 2:30 p.m. in a ditch filled with about 6 feet of water behind the home, authorities said.

He was taken to Southeastern Regional Medical Center for treatment, and he was pronounced dead at about 6 p.m.


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  • familyfour Feb 17, 2010

    Not the time or place to critique anyone, but to remember that we can never keep our eyes on our dear ones 100% of the time, and that it only takes an instant for happiness to behold tragedy.

    May the family find peace in knowing that accidents do happen, that all things do happen for a reason, and that their special one has greater things ahead......

  • Das G Feb 17, 2010

    "I realize that you folks are probably just trying to be nice here, but can we be a little rational? :-) I mean, if you were a god, wouldn't you run a kinder planet. I know would...and I wouldn't require homage, submission & tithing to do it. You?"

    Obvious Troll is obvious.

  • hiyadun Feb 17, 2010

    Such a sad incident. Prayers to the family!

  • 2beachy4u Feb 17, 2010

    God Bless this family. My heart goes out to them. You all will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Killian Feb 17, 2010

    This is so tragic. When my oldest was 2, her friend who was just a few months older drowned in the lake behind his house. It was devastating to his family, and also to all of us surrounding them as well.

    They have my sincere sympathies, although I know nothing can ease that kind of pain. I'm so sorry.

  • mrsmom Feb 17, 2010

    My prayers are going out for this family. What a horrible tragedy to lose a child this way.

    I hope someone will put up a barrier to prevent small children from falling into the 6 foot deep ditch of water in the future. Hindsight is 20-20 (not laying blame), but this is an opportunity to prevent future tragedies.

  • babbleon Feb 17, 2010

    Sympathy to the family.

    This is not the time or place to critique religion.

  • sssh.. whisper Feb 17, 2010

    Prayers to the family. RIP angel

  • ghimmy51 Feb 17, 2010

    Hereandnow99 this is a public forum possibly read by the family. This is the equivalent of a billboard or a page in the local news. Granny always told me "Boy if'n ya can't say somthin useful keep ya trap shut." Granny was a character but she was right. "standard religious drivel"? "non-thinking nonsense"? You voice OPINION which by its' nature is beyond proof. Please keep it to yourself in cases of tragic loss? Thankfully, people are free to believe what they believe around here. It's inappropriate and in extremely poor taste to ridicule people's beliefs in a public forum. Don'tcha think?

  • Capitals Fan Feb 17, 2010

    "Most people (in NC in general and GOLO specifically) seem to have almost no exposure to differing viewpoints and questions about their beliefs. So, when people start reciting the standard religious drivel for tragedies like this...IMO, it seems like perfect time to say "Yes, this is a horrible situation...but what the hek are you talking about? Can we please not allow tragic events to drag us into a valley of non-thinking nonsense?" baby and bathwater and all that... :-)"

    Hereandnow I feel so sorry for you that you are so full of hate that instead of offering condolences to a family that just lost their 3yr old, you have to attack other people who do not agree with YOUR beliefs. If you are so tolerant why do you have a personal agenda to go after people who don't share your views? This kind of attitude is what is "non-thinking nonsense."