Authorities say 3-year-old Josavaungher Smith, along with his mother and another 3-year-old relative, was visiting a neighbor's home at 14 Lemon Lane in Bunnlevel when the drowning occurred.
Investigators say Smith was pretending to fish in an above-ground pool when his toy rod fell in the water. Authorities say when he tried to retrieve his toy, he fell in.
Authorities say the mother was inside the home visiting with the neighbor when the 3-year-old relative came in and said that Smith was in the pool.
Smith was located by family members, who performed CPR until EMS workers arrived. Authorities say Smith died on the way to the hospital.
"He liked to play a lot. This was going to be his first year starting Head-Start," said Sharon Jones, Smith's mother.
This is the third drowning death in two months in Harnett County. Nearly three weeks ago, a young brother and sister drowned in a Harnett County pond. Sheriff Larry Rollins is pleading with parents to take some common sense precautions.
"Anytime you have a child near the water, even if it's in the bathtub, the parents need to watch over them," he said.
Authorities said the neighbor's pool was surrounded by a fence, but investigators said the gate was left open, allowing the child to access the pool.
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