6-year-old drowns during pool party at house in La Marque where 4-year-old drowned years before, authorities say

Here's what we know

LA MARQUE, Texas – La Marque police said they are investigating the circumstances surrounding the drowning of a 6-year-old boy during what officers said was a big party at a rented residential property Monday.

La Marque EMS crews were called to the house located in the 800 block of Volney just before 7 p.m. for a report of a possible drowning.

When EMS personnel arrived at the scene, they found an unconscious 6-year-old boy. The child was rushed to HCA Houston Healthcare Mainland Medical Center in Texas City, where he died, authorities said.

Police reportedly could not confirm how the boy, whose mother was at the home during the time of the drowning, ended up in the water. Investigators said they are unsure if the woman was nearby the pool at the time, but she is cooperating with authorities.

Officers said the 3,800-square-foot home where the pool is located was rented out. The property owner was not on-site during the party but knows the person who rented the house, police said. According to investigators, the 6-year-old boy’s fatal drowning isn’t the first at that house during a party.

Investigators said in 2014, a 4-year-old girl fatally drowned while attending a birthday party at the house. Court records show the girl’s family sued the owner of the house, claiming negligence in drowning. According to officials, county property records show that the house owner is the same person who owned the property when the 2014 drowning occurred.

Alissa Magrum is a board member of the Texas Drowning Prevention Alliance. She said sadly holiday weekends are notorious for drownings. She said drownings are fast, silent and preventable.

“Last month, in June alone, we lost at least 35 Texans to fatal preventable drowning. That’s children and adults in all kinds of water,” she said.

Magrum said non-fatal drownings are typically eight times as high.

“Certainly, our higher risk for younger kids are pools and bathtubs,” she said. “So, the under 5′s. And then when we look at our older kids and going on into teens and adults, open water is our highest risk area.”

Magrum said despite available resources, drownings continue to occur. She says learning CPR, knowing how to swim, and having family conversations and rules about water safety can all help.

“If you go to the beach, you have rules specific to that... go near lifeguarded beaches. If you have a boat, wear life jackets. If you go to open water, wear life jackets,” she said.

The Criminal Investigation Division of the La Marque Police Department is investigating the Independence Day drowning since it is a protocol to do so in these types of cases. Police are looking to see if any city ordinances were violated because the party may classify as a mass gathering, which requires a permit, even at times when at a private residence.

Anyone with information regarding the incident is urged to contact Lt. Forrest Gandy at (409) 938-9235. To provide information anonymously, contact La Marque Crime Stoppers at www.p3tips.com/741 or via telephone at (409) 938-TIPS (8477).

For water safety resources click here.

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