EXCLUSIVE: Mother of 16-year-old missing in waters off Galveston demands answers from CPS

By Daniela Sternitzky-Di Napoli - Digital News Producer

GALVESTON - The mother of a 16-year-old boy spoke with KPRC2 in an exclusive interview and is desperate for answers after her son and another boy believed to be 11 years old disappeared Sunday while swimming in Galveston.

According to Ashley Garner, her son, Nicolas, was under the care of a local children’s emergency shelter because of behavioral issues.

Garner is demanding answers from Child Protective Services, claiming that a red flag warning was up at the time of the incident.

“I want answers, justice, and it won’t bring him back, but I feel like somebody owes me something…an explanation or something. Garner told KPRC2. “If the Coast Guard can't find him, I don't see how it’s possible to have any hope at this point.”

According to the Galveston Island Beach Patrol, Nicolas rushed into the water near 17th Street and Seawall Boulevard after an 11-year-old also with the shelter group got caught up in strong rip currents.

Garner is demanding to know why they were in the water under the dangerous condition to begin with.

“I just want to know why,” Garner said. “They dropped the ball, I feel like. They could take the kids to the Moody Gardens, why would they be out in the water like that with those conditions?”

The Department of Family and Protective Services has confirmed to KPRC2 that the drowning incident is under investigation. A background check into the shelter’s history of violations reveals a number of inadequate employee background checks.

KPRC reached out to the Children’s Center Emergency Shelter for a comment in regards to the drowning of the two young boys, but our request was declined. Five kids from the shelter were believed to have been at the beach on a group trip with a supervisor.

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