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Soldier's son drowns in family pool

The 2-year-old son of a Fort Bragg soldier deployed in Iraq drowned this week in his family's pool in Hope Mills, police said.

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HOPE MILLS, N.C. — The 2-year-old son of a Fort Bragg soldier deployed in Iraq drowned this week in his family's pool, police said.

A babysitter was caring for Christian Torres and six other children, including two of her own, in the Tyson Circle home on Monday afternoon and had put the children in a back room to play while she cleaned the house, police said.

"Apparently, while she was cleaning, her 2-year-old child and the deceased child walked out a side door and got to the pool area," said Lt. Mark Phillips of the Hope Mills Police Department.

When the woman discovered that the two children were missing, she initially thought they were hiding, police said. When she went outside to look for them, she found Christian floating face-down in the deep end of the pool.

Police said the pool area is fenced, but the gate wasn't locked. Officials estimated that the boy was in the water between five and 10 minutes.

The woman quickly pulled him from the water and called 911. Attempts to revive him were unsuccessful, and he died at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center.

Adam Lebatard, a friend of Christian's 15-year-old brother, said the toddler loved to swim.

"I would love to see what he would have been when he grew up," Lebatard said. "(He was a) lovable little kid, always happy. I never saw the kid crack a frown."

The soldier was on his way home from Iraq Thursday to attend his son's funeral.

Police called the drowning an accident, but Phillips said investigators were still trying to determine if any neglect was involved.

Phillps urged pool owners to lock gates near their pools to ensure children have no access to the water.



Bryan Mims, Reporter
Michael Joyner, Photographer
Matthew Burns, Web Editor

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