LAKELAND, Fla. -- On Friday, a Polk County family suffered an unimaginable tragedy. A six-year-old special needs boy walked out of his house and into a retention pond. His body was found later that night.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office posted about it on Facebook Saturday, thanking the public for their prayers for the grieving family and for the department's deputies.
The sheriff’s office also explained in the post why, even though they investigate half a dozen child drownings each year, people don’t hear about them.
Their answer – “How would you feel?”
“How would you feel if you lost your child, during a horrific accident, in the blink of an eye, and the whole world knew about it, and debated it?”
According to the sheriff’s office, they don’t often send out releases or post to social media when a child or baby drowns. They say sometimes there are investigations that are only known to the people involved.
“We think the average person understands, and accepts, that an awful thing such as a child's accidental death, deserves to remain private” read the post.
Friday night’s situation was different. The sheriff’s office said that even though they had an idea it would not turn out well, they hoped and prayed that the young boy was just lost. So they sent a release out, held a press conference and asked people to be on the lookout for the young boy.
The post ended by thanking people for their support, and asked them to pray for the family in Friday’s tragedy and any other family dealing with the loss of a child.
“Be safe, everyone. If you need us, call us. We will always answer the call.”
© 2017 WTSP-TV