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3-year-old drowns in Robeson County drainage ditch

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

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

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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Bryan Mims, Reporter
Matthew Burns, Web Editor

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